Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson

Life Story

Taraji P. Henson was born on September 11, 1970 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Taraji Penda Henson. She is an actress and producer, known for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Hidden Figures (2016) and Hustle & Flow (2005).


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Voted one of "The 10 Sexiest Women of 2001" by the readers of Black Men Magazine.
Has a son named Marcell Johnson (born May 10, 1994).
Daughter of Boris (January 12, 1948-February 19, 2006) and Bernice (née Gordon) Henson.
Henson first attended North Carolina Agric & Tech, where she attempted to study electrical engineering. She failed precalculus, so she transferred to Howard University. To pay for Howard, she worked two jobs: in the morning, as a secretary at the Pentagon; at night, as a singing and dancing waitress on a dinner cruise ship. She graduated from Howard University in 1995.
Her ex-boyfriend and father of her son, Mark Johnson, was murdered in 2003.
Taraji's great-great-grandfather, Joseph Henson, was a half-brother of North Pole explorer Matthew Henson. Matthew was a prominent African-American explorer.
Her first and middle names are Swahili for "hope" and "love," respectively.
She is an only child.
Attended Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Claimed in an interview with Uptown magazine that her son Marcel Johnson was racially profiled when his car was stopped by police in Glendale and that police searched his car illegally. However, the dashcam video of the incident revealed that Johnson drove through a lighted crosswalk as a person walked across and that he was in possession of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia, which a police officer found after smelling marijuana smoke in the car and Johnson consented and allowed the officer to search his car. After the video surfaced, she apologized via Instagram for her statements. She was apparently misinformed about the incident by her son. [March 2015]

Personal Quotes 

Once you're a mom, always a mom. It's like riding a bike, you never forget.
Every human walks around with a certain kind of sadness. They may not wear it on their sleeves, but it's there if you look deep.
Humans have a light side and a dark side, and it's up to us to choose which way we're going to live our lives. Even if you start out on the dark side, it doesn't mean you have to continue your journey that way. You always have time to turn it around.
At the end of the day, I stand by who I am. I'm a good person.
Love is the greatest gift that God has given us. It's free.
I'm always the cousin that can't make it to the family functions because I'm busy.
When I meet a person and that chemistry is there, I cannot hide the electricity. I need to learn more about him, and once I feel safe, I'm gone, I'm in love, and I give it my all!
I don't harp on the negative because if you do, then there's no progression. There's no forward movement. You got to always look on the bright side of things, and we are in control. Like, you have control over the choices you make.
It's up to you to be responsible for how you feel if you're not happy. Your happiness lies in your hands. You can't rely on a man to make you happy or complete you. That starts with you.
A woman is gentle, soft, delicate, and a man's position is to protect her, help her up stairs, make sure she's in the car safely first. Take good care of your woman, and the sky's the limit!
I would love to play a superhero. I wish I could be in 'The Avengers,' kicking butt.


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