Taraji P. Henson is an American actress and author. She studied acting at Howard University and began her Hollywood career in guest roles on several television shows before making her breakthrough in Baby Boy. She received praise for her performances as a sex-worker in Hustle & Flow, for which she received a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture nomination and as a single mother of a disabled child in David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, for which she received Academy Award, SAG Award and Critics Choice Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress. In 2016, Time named Henson one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Birth Name

Taraji Penda Henson


Taraji P. Henson, TJ, Cookie





Personal Life

Birthday / Date of Birth

Taraji P. Henson was born on the 11st of September 1970, in Washington, D.C., United States.


She’s currently 53 years old.

Sun Sign







Henson graduated from Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland, in 1988. She attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina and even studied engineering and science at the University of the District of Columbia, but soon after got transferred to Howard University in Washington, D.C. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1995.

Family Details

  • Father  Boris Lawrence Henson (Janitor and Metal Fabricator)
  • Mother  Bernice Gordon (Corporate Manager at Woodward & Lothrop)
  • Siblings – She has no siblings and is the only child of her parents.

Marital Status


Boyfriend / Spouse

Taraji P. Henson has dated –

  • William Johnson (1986-1994) – Henson dated her high school sweetheart, William Johnson from September 1986 to October 1994. During this time, while she was still in junior college, she also got pregnant and gave birth to a son named Marcell Johnson in 1994.
  • Tyrese Gibson (1995-2002) – From January 1995 to November 2002, she was romantically linked ON and OFF with singer and actor Tyrese Gibson. They ended their relationship 5 times during these 8 years. She is about 9 years his senior. During these 8 years, they had two children from the relationship, viz., Jody (born, July 23, 1997) and Jordenn (born, June 17, 2003).
  • Hill Harper (2002-2005) – For the next three and a half years, from April 2002 to October 2005, she dated actor Hill Harper.
  • Common (2005-2007) – In October 2005, Taraji started dating rapper Common after she appeared in his music video “Testify.” They dated for more than a year until February 2007.
  • Lamar Odom (2008-2009) – In December 2008, Taraji started dating basketball player, Lamar Odom. He is about 1.5 feet taller than her and roughly 10 years younger than her. They dated for around eight months and split in August 2009.
  • Aubrey Graham (2010) – In June 2010, she commenced dating Canadian rapper, Aubrey Graham. But, this relationship also saw an end in September 2010.
  • Michael Ealy (2012) – Taraji had fling with actor Michael Ealy after meeting him on the set of Think Like a Man (2012).

  • Kelvin Hayden (2018-Present) – In May 2018, Henson got engaged to former NFL player Kelvin Hayden.

Physical Statistics


  • In feet – 5 feet 4 inches
  • In centimeters – 163 cm
  • In meters – 1.63 m


  • In Kilograms – 60 kg
  • In Pounds – 132 lbs

Body Measurements

  • Measurements – 34-26-35
  • Bust – 34 inches
  • Waist – 26 inches
  • Hip – 35 inches
  • Bra Size – 34D

Body Build


Eye Color

Dark Brown

Hair Color


Shoe Size

She wears a size 7.5 (US) shoe.

Dress Size

Her dress size is 6 (US).



Professional Statistics

Famous For

Portraying Shug in 2005 independent drama film Hustle & Flow and as Queenie in the 2008 romantic fantasy drama film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Film Debut

In 2000, Taraji made her film debut with animated adventure comedy film, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle as a left-wing student.

Television Debut

In 1997, Henson appeared in three episodes in The WB’s sitcom Smart Guy for her role as Mo’Nique.

Brand Endorsements

In 2015, Taraji was named as the ambassador of American Black Film Festival (ABFF).

Taraji P. Henson Net worth

Taraji P. Henson has a estimated net worth of $25 million dollars as of 2023.

Social Media Profiles

Some Lesser Known Facts About Taraji P. Henson

  • Her first and middle names Taraji and Penda have been taken from Swahili language. They mean hope and love respectively.
  • She had a nickname Cookie in college.
  • She earned a Triple Threat Scholarship at the Howard University. In 1995, she received her bachelor’s degree in fine arts.
  • Taraji is a great-great cousin of North Pole explorer, Matthew Henson.
  • In 2005, she starred in the rapper Common’s music video Testify as the wife of a soon to be convicted murderer and appeared in Tyrese Gibson’s music video Stay as his love interest.
  • In January 2011, she supports People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and has appeared n*de in one of their ad campaigns.
  • She is good at cooking and Mary J. Blige is a fan of her chili dish, which Taraji says is her signature dish.
  • In 2015, she teamed up with Howard to produce and host a variety holiday special for Fox, Taraji and Terrence’s White Hot Holidays.
  • In February 2015, Henson posed in an ad for the NOH8 Campaign supporting the LGBT community.
  • In March 16, 2015, Taraji was a guest co-host on Live! with Kelly and Michael, filling in for Kelly Ripa.
  • In 2016, she starred in the film Hidden Figures, a major box-office success nominated for numerous awards, including three Oscars.
  • In February 2019, Henson starred in What Men Want as a female sports agent, looked down upon by male colleagues, who gains the power to hear men’s thoughts.
  • In April 2019, Taraji will star in the historical drama The Best of Enemies, portraying civil rights activist Ann Atwater.


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