Taraji Penda Henson, an American born actress and author with an African American ancestry, was born on 11th September 1970 in Southeast Washington D.C. She is the daughter to Boris Lawrence Henson who worked as a janitor and a metal fabricator and his wife Bernice Gordon who was a corporate manager at Woodward and Lothrop.
Taraji P. Henson Bio: Ethnicity, Siblings
An analysis of her DNA traces her lineage to the Masa people found in Cameroon. Taraji has two younger siblings, Shawn and April and is the mother to Marcel Henson.
Taraji P. Henson Education Details
Henson attended Oxon Hill High School after she failed to land admission to Washington’s Duke Ellington School of Arts where she wanted to go. She graduated from high school in 1988 and joined North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University to pursue a course in electrical engineering. Unfortunately, Henson was not quite good at calculus, something which pushed her to abandon the engineering course for a course in theatre at Howard University where she transferred to. In a bid to pay for tuition, Henson took two jobs, one as a secretary in the Pentagon and another as an entertainer in a dinner cruise ship.
Taraji P. Henson Parents, Early Life
Henson’s parents separated when she was two years of age. She then went on to live in Oxon, Maryland with her mother after the divorce. In her junior years in college, Henson found out that she was pregnant but that did not in any way hinder her resolve. She was determined to keep the baby and continue with her studies in drama. She talked to her theatre professors against benching her. She later brought forth a son and continued with her classes with her baby in tow. True to her ambitions, she graduated from college in 1995.
Taraji P. Henson Career Details
From Howard University, Henson moved to Los Angeles with her young son. Her aim was to pursue a professional acting career. She had a few dollars in her bank account and therefore she was determined to get a life-line for their survival.
The first two years in Los Angeles were a bit difficult for Henson. She worked an office job and auditioned for several roles with little or no success. In 1998, she landed a role in Smart Guy, a television show. Her performance in the role opened more opportunities for Henson. For instance, she got a role on the sitcom ‘Sister’. She also made appearances in various TV shows.
Henson got her big break in 2001 when she starred in Baby Boy, a film by John Singleton. In 2004, she landed a major role in Hustle and Flow where she sang the track ‘It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp’, with the track scooping the Academy Award for Best Song. From then on, Henson’s career in the film industry took an upward run, with big roles coming her way. She has won numerous awards in film. In Television, Henson has been outstanding with numerous roles, shows and awards to her name.
In addition, Henson got involved in music and stage acting. In 2016, she and Mac cosmetics collaborated to build the Taraji P Henson make-up collection. In the same year, she became the spokesperson for their campaign to benefit the MAC HIV/AIDs fund.
In 2016, Henson was named in the Times 100 most influential people of the year. In the same year, she released an autobiography ‘Around the Way Girl’ that became a best seller with the New York Times.
Running a successful career over the years, Henson grew her $700 dollar fortune that she had when she moved to Los Angeles to unimaginable proportions. As of 2019, the actress is estimated to be worth over $16 million. This fortune has been built from her various ventures as an actress, author and producer. Her annual salary remains unknown.
Henson points out her parents as her greatest source of inspiration. Her father who she describes as loving, affectionate and caring talked her into acting while her mother was always there for her. It can be deduced that despite the divorce, both parents retained their commitment to shaping their daughter into a dreamer and high achiever.
Is Taraji P. Henson Married Again After Death Of William Lamarr Johnson?
Henson, since her pregnancy, has kept a low profile regarding her personal life. The father to her son, William Lamarr Johnson got murdered in 1997 even though there is not much to say about the two. Since then little is known about Henson’s dating life. In 2018, Henson got engaged to Kelvin Hayden, a professional footballer. Earlier on, she had been linked to basketball player Lamar Odom and actor Tyrese Gibson.
Henson has her two names, Taraji and Penda drawn from the Swahili community, commonly found in East Africa. Taraji is Swahili for hope while Penda means ‘to love’.
Taraji P. Henson Body Measurements
Taraji Penda Henson stands 163cm in height, belongs to the star sign Virgo and weighs 60Kg. She is an outspoken Christian with brown hair and beautiful brown eyes.