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Taraji P. Henson          

Academy Award-Nominated Actress & Mental Health Advocate

Taraji P. Henson is an Academy Award-nominated actress, producer, and mental health advocate. The four-time Emmy Award nominee has carved an illustrious path in the entertainment industry, captivating audiences with her compelling performances and unyielding commitment to authenticity.

Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in challenging circumstances, Henson's journey to stardom was unconventional. Initially pursuing a degree in electrical engineering at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University, her life took a turn when she transferred to Howard University, studying theater while navigating the demands of two jobs to support herself and her newborn son.

Upon graduation, Henson ventured to Los Angeles, where her resilience and talent began to shine. While juggling an office job, she secured small roles in various television series. Her breakout performance in the critically acclaimed film "Hustle & Flow" earned her and the cast a Screen Actors Guild nomination as well as the BET Award for Best Actress. Her filmography expanded, culminating in an Academy Award nomination for her role in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" in 2008.

Henson focused primarily on film until 2015, when she returned to television in “Empire” as Cookie Lyon, a role for which she won a Golden Globe award and the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series, becoming the first black actress in the history of the awards show to do so. The television series also garnered her two Primetime Emmy Award nominations in the same category.

In 2016, she starred as NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson in the critically acclaimed film "Hidden Figures," which won her an MTV Movie Award for Best Hero and an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress, cementing Henson’s popularity and iconic status. In 2019, Henson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. An advocate for equal pay in the entertainment world and beyond, Henson was named by TIME as one of their 2024 Women of the Year.

Offscreen, Henson is the author of "Around the Way Girl," a memoir. In 2018, she founded The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in honor of her father, a nonprofit committed to challenging the perception of mental illness in the African American community. The organization provides scholarships to African-American students majoring in mental health, offers mental health services to youth in urban schools, and works to lower the recidivism rates of African-American men and women.

Henson is available in partnership with Collective Speakers.

Speech Topics

Empowering Women



Mental Health


Chris Paul and Taraji P. Henson appointed to Biden's HBCU advisory board
Actress Taraji P. Henson, NBA star Chris Paul, and United Airlines president Brett Hart are among the 18 members of the President's board of advisers on HBCUs.
Taraji P. Henson to host mental health talk show on Facebook Watch
It’s called “Peace of Mind With Taraji.”
Taraji P. Henson Launches Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation
Octavia Spencer Joining Taraji P. Henson in NASA Race Drama ...
Octavia Spencer, who won an Oscar for her performance in The Help, will star opposite Taraji P. Henson in Hidden Figures, a period race drama being directed  ...
Taraji P. Henson to Play NASA Mathematician In Upcoming Film
Actress and singer Taraji P. Henson has been chosen to play one of the three female mathematicians who helped launch the first American astronaut into space. The upcoming film, entitled Hidden Figures, will be produced by Fox 2000 and is based on a book of the same title written by Margot Lee Shetterly called Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race. Publisher HarperCollins will release the book in September. Henson, 45, was chosen to play the role of Katherine Johnson, an African-American mathematician who, with the help of her colleagues Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson, paved the way for the United States to send astronaut John Glenn into orbit, making him the first American to do so.
Taraji P. Henson Reacts To Her Big NAACP Image Awards Win ...
Taraji P. Henson talks diversity with Access guest correspondent Scott Evans as well as her Outstanding Actress win at the NAACP Image Awards.
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Tyrese to play Taraji P. Henson’s love interest on ‘Empire’
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10 minutes ago | Deadline | See recent Deadline news ». Exclusive: Empire star Taraji P. Henson is poised to reunite with that hit Fox show's creator Danny ...
Taraji P. Henson - New York News
Person of Interest returns to TV for season three next week. Actress Taraji P. Henson is back as Det. Joss Carter. We'll get a preview of the highly anticipated ...
Taraji P. Henson Breaking News, Photos, and Videos | Just Jared
Zosia Mamet and Taraji P. Henson arrive in style to the Women's Health Hamptons Party Under the Stars event held at Bridgehampton Tennis and Surf Club on ...
Taraji P. Henson Teams Up With Jergens To Prove Once Again That ...
Taraji P. Henson Teams Up With Jergens To Prove Once Again That Black Don't Crack (With A Little Help). The Huffington Post | By Julee Wilson Posted: ...
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