Taraji Penda Henson born September 11, 1970 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 (2001). She received praise for playing a prostitute in Hustle & Flow (2005) and a single mother in David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008); for the latter, she received an Academy Award and a SAG nomination.
Henson has featured as a regular cast member on television 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, for which she won an NAACP Image Award. From 2015 onward, she began starring as Cookie Lyon on the Fox drama series Empire, for which she became the first African-American woman to win a Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series. She also won a Golden Globe Award, and was nominated for two Emmy Awards, in 2015 and 2016.
In 2016, Time named Henson one of the 100 most influential people in the world on the annual Time 100 list. Henson also released a New York Times bestselling autobiography titled Around the Way Girl. Also that year, she received praise for her starring role as Katherine Johnson in the critically acclaimed drama film Hidden Figures, for which she won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. —Wikipedia