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Taraji P. Henson (1970)

Taraji Penda Henson

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  Summary  

Taraji Penda Henson is an American actress and singer. She is best known for her roles as Yvette in Baby Boy , Shug in Hustle and Flow and Queenie in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button , for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2009. In 2009, she appeared in Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself as April, an alcoholic singer. She currently co-stars in the CBS series Person of Interest.

  Biography  

 early life
Henson was born in Southeast Washington, D.C., the daughter of Bernice Gordon, a corporate manager at Woodward & Lothrop, and Boris Henson, a janitor and fabricator. She is a relative of Matthew Henson, discoverer of the Geographic North Pole. Her first and middle name are of Swahili origin, taraji meaning hope.

Henson spent summers at her grandparents' house in suburban Southern Maryland. She attended Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland. She first attended NC A&T, where she started a major in Electrical Engineering. She later transferred to Howard University. She worked two jobs—in the morning as a secretary at the Pentagon and in the night as a singing and dancing waitress on a dinner cruise ship—The Spirit of Washington—to pay for Howard University. She won the Triple Threat Award and graduated with a degree in Theater Arts.

 career
Henson has appeared in the films Four Brothers , Talk To Me , Smokin' Aces , The Family That Preys, and Hurricane Season . In late 2008, she starred opposite Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Henson plays the role of Queenie, Benjamin's mother, in a performance which has garnered critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She noted in an interview that, "Queenie is the embodiment of unconditional love."

Henson has also been a cast member on several television shows, including Lifetime Television's The Division and ABC's Boston Legal for one season. Her recurring appearances in television include the character Angela Scott on ABC's Eli Stone in December 2008. She has guest-starred on several television shows, such as the WB Television Network's Smart Guy, playing the role of Monique (1997–1998); the Fox series House in 2005; and CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in 2006. She also starred on an episode of Sister, Sister. In 2011, Henson was cast in the CBS crime-suspense series Person of Interest.

Henson made her singing debut in Hustle & Flow; she provided the vocals for the Three 6 Mafia track "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp". The song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2006, giving Three 6 Mafia the distinction of becoming the first Black hip-hop act to win in that category. Henson performed the song at the live Oscar ceremony on March 5, 2006 with the group. Additionally, she performed the song "In My Daughter's Eyes" on the 2006 charity album Unexpected Dreams – Songs From the Stars.

Henson has made several appearances in music videos. For example, she starred in the rapper Common's music video called "Testify" in 2005 as the wife of a soon to be convicted murderer.

Henson joined PETA in its campaign against the use of animal products in clothing. Henson has stated "I don't think a living being should suffer for the sake of fashion, period. End of story... You don't have to kill an animal just because you want to be hot and fly. And I really stand by that." A nude ad for the Fur? I'd Rather Go Naked campaign has been released with Taraji P. Henson as the latest celebrity model.

 personal life
Henson's son Marcel was born in 1995. Her son's father died unexpectedly in 1997.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Taraji P. Henson", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.