Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson

Taraji Penda Henson (born September 11, 1970) is an American actress and singer. She is best known for her role as Yvette on Baby Boy (2001).

Early life

Henson was born in Washington, DC, the daughter of Bernice, a manager at Woodward & Lothrop, and Boris Henson, a janitor. She attended Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, MD. Henson's first and middle names are of Arabic origin, meaning "hope". She first attended NC A&T where she started a major in Electrical Engineering. She later transferred to Howard University.

Henson 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-- to pay for Howard University. She graduated with a degree in Theater Arts. Her son Marcel was born in 1995; his father died unexpectedly in 1997. Her father died in 2006.


She has appeared in the films Baby Boy (2001), Hair Show (2004), Hustle & Flow (2005), Four Brothers (2005), and Talk to Me, 2007 film Smokin Aces and Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys (2008) and was a cast member on Lifetime Television's The Division and ABC's Boston Legal for one season.

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 the distinction of becoming the first Black hip-hop act to win in the category. Henson performed the song at the Oscars on March 5, 2006 with the group.

Henson was in the music video Testify in 2005 as the wife of a soon to be convicted murderer, but she was the one who really committed the crime. Throughout the video she keeps pleading "Before you lock my love away".




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