Taraji Penda Henson (born September 11, 1970) is an American actress and singer. 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 (2001). In 2005, she starred in Hustle & Flow and played Queenie in David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), for which she received an Academy Award nomination. In 2010, she appeared in the comedy Date Night and co-starred in the remake of The Karate Kid. In 2012, Henson was in the large ensemble cast film Think Like A Man and reprised her role in its sequel.
Henson has also had an extensive career in television, having been a regular cast member on series such as The Division, Boston Legal and Eli Stone. From 2011 to 2013, she co-starred as Detective Jocelyn Carter in the CBS drama Person of Interest. As of 2015, she stars as Cookie Lyon on the Fox drama series Empire, for which she won a Critics' Choice Award and a Golden Globe Award, and nominated for an Emmy Award.
In 2016, Time named Henson one of the 100 most influential people in the world on the annual Time 100 list. Henson also released an autobiography titled Around The Way Girl. She is set to star in the NASA drama film Hidden Figures based on the life of Katherine Johnson.
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