Taraji P Henson is no doubt best known for her role as Cookie Lyon in the FOX hit musical series “Empire.” Thanks to the role, Taraji became the first African-American woman to win the Critics Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series and the third African-American woman ever to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. As Cookie, Henson also won back-to-back Emmys for Best Outstanding Lead Actress in Drama Series in 2015 and 2016. Here is her story…
Taraji P Henson’s Bio (Age)
Taraji Penda Henson was born on September 11, 1970, in Washington, D.C. US. She is the daughter of Boris Lawrence Henson and Bernice (née Gordon). When she was just two years old, her parents divorced, however, they both continued to contribute to her upbringing. While her mom would go on to work as a corporate manager at the Washinton-based department store, Woodward & Lothrop, her dad worked the modest job of a metal fabricator and janitor.
Taraji’s dad might not have earned enough stipend to be a financial pillar in his daughter’s life, however, he was sure to avail himself to provide all the moral support that she needed.
Taraji’s DNA analysis traced her roots to the Masa people of Cameroun in Africa. Her first and second name is Swahili for hope and peace respectively. Taraji P Henson fell in love with acting at a young age and attempted to enroll in a performing arts school, however, she didn’t get accepted. As a result, she would later attend Oxon Hill, Maryland graduating in 1988.
After graduation, Henson shifted her focus from arts and instead decided to study electrical engineering at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. However, she settled that theater was her true calling when she failed pre-calculus as a freshman. She then transferred to Howard University to study drama.
In order to afford tuition, Henson worked two jobs. In the day, she’d work as a secretary at The Pentagon and during the evenings, Taraji would unleash her singing and dancing skills as a waitress to entertain guests at Spirit of Washington cruise-ship.
Fortunately, Taraji’s skills as a dancer, singer, and actress would earn her the “Tripple Threat Scholarship.” By 1995 she earned her BA in Theatre. In 1997, her acting gigs had begun to air on TV and in the early 2000s, she began turning heads with her performances, first in Baby Boy (2001).
Taraji solidified her presence with films like Enough (2002) and Hair Show (2004), and Oscar-winning indie film Hustle & Flow (2005). For her portrayal of Queenie the titular character’s mother in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Taraji received her first Oscar nomination.
She then appeared in a couple of Tyler Perry films; The Family That Preys (2008) and I Can Do Bad All By Myself followed. Her other notable films include; The Karate Kid (2010), Think Like A Man (2012), and Hidden Figures (2016). Hidden Figures is her highest award-winning gig with 7 awards to her name.
Taraji has also been very relevant on the small screens too. Some of her most notable appearances on TV include; The Division, Boston Legal, Person of Interest and of course Empire.
When Henson Taraji P Henson relocated to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, she had just $700 in her bank balance. However, that was soon to change. With the release of Baby Boy, Henson was $65,000 richer and by 2002, she began receiving $22,000 per episode for her role in The Division where she appeared for a total of 14 episodes.
In 2002, Taraji had earned enough money from acting to afford a $431,000 cozy Spanish condo in Glendale, Los Angeles. She put the house up for rent at $3,400 per month in 2015. Like every other successful actress, Taraji P Henson bolsters her income with endorsement deals. Among her partners are MAC Cosmetics. She released her own line The #MACTaraji Collection in September 2016. All of these endeavors have combined in giving Taraji a net worth estimated at $16 million.
Taraji P. Henson has a son named Marcel Johnson whom she had with her high school sweetheart William Lamar Johnson on May 10, 1994. William was murdered in 2003 at the age of 34. Taraji, in her New York Times Best-selling autobiography – Around the Way Girl: A Memoir, released in 2016, disclosed that she ended things with the father of her child as a result of physical abuse.
Taraji’s son Marcel made the news in October 2014 when he was pulled over at a traffic stop in Glendale, California during which he was found in possession of hashish oil and marijuana. He also admitted to smoking marijuana two hours before he hit the road.
Marcel seemed to have turned a new leaf after the incident. He followed in his mom’s footsteps and made his acting debut in 2015 portraying a small role in the crime drama, Misled. His other appearances include A Girl Like Her and Needlestick.
As at the time of this report, Taraji is engaged to be married to former NFL cornerback Kelvin Hayden. Their relationship began in 2015 but was kept under wraps until December 2017 when Taraji officially confirmed their romance.
In May 2018, Hayden officially popped the question that saw them become engaged. Hayden who was born on July 23, 1983, is 13 years younger than Taraji P Henson. He won the Super Bowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts. He has also played for the Atlanta Falcons and the Chicago Bears.
Henson does put in a lot of work in her body as her hourglass figure makes her age the more unbelievable. Her body measurements are as follows;
Breasts – 35 inches
Waist – 28 inches
Hips – 45 inches
Height: 5 feet 4 inches