Date Of Birth

September 11, 1970


American actress and singer Taraji P. Hanson was born on September 11, 1970 in Washington, D.C. The African-American initially studied at North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University, taking up a degree in electrical engineering, before moving to Howard University, where she eventually graduated with a theater arts degree. To pay for her education, she worked as a secretary for the Pentagon during the day, and performed in a dinner cruise ship at night.

Henson made her acting debut in 1997, when she became a guest on the comedy series Sister, Sister. A year later, she made her film debut, playing a supporting role in the action flick Streetwise. She played small roles throughout her early career, appearing as a guest on programs such as Felicity, Pacific Blue, ER and Strong Medicine, and in films such as The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle. In 2003, she scored her first regular television role, joining the final season of the Lifetime police drama The Division; she played the role of police inspector Raina Washington.

Henson later took more significant roles in films, appearing in Baby Boy, Four Brothers, Hair Show and Hustle & Flow. The latter, which was nominated for several Oscars in 2006, saw her play Shug, one of the prostitutes working for dissatisfied hustler DJay (Terrence Howard). She won a Black Reel Award and a Black Movie Award, both for Best Supporting Actress, for her role. It was also here where she made her singing debut, when she provided the vocals for the film’s theme “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” performed by hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia. It eventually won the Oscar for Best Original Song, the first to be given to a black hip-hop group.

In 2007, she joined the cast of the legal drama Boston Legal. She played the role of Whitney Rome, a strong-willed associate who transferred to Crane, Poole & Schmidt’s New York offices after a break-up. She continued appearing in movies since, such as the comedy Date Night and 2008’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Later on, she returned to television to play Carter in the CBS series Person of Interest.

Place of Birth

Washington, D.C.

Birth Name

Taraji P. Henson




2011: Person of Interest (TV series) – Carter2011: From the Rough – Catana Starks
2011: Larry Crowne – B’Ella
2011: The Good Doctor – Nurse Theresa
2011: Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story (TV movie) – Tiffany Rubin
2010: The Brotherly Love Table Read (video short)
2010: Peep World – Mary
2010: The Karate Kid – Sherry Parker
2010: The Cleveland Show (TV series) – Chanel
2010: Once Fallen – Pearl
2010: Date Night – Detective Arroyo
2010: Forehead Tittaes (video short)
2009: Hurricane Season – Dayna Collins
2009: I Can Do Bad All by Myself – April
2009: Not Easily Broken – Clarice Clark
2008: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Queenie
2008: Eli Stone (TV series) – Angela Scott
2008: The Family That Preys – Pam
2007-2008: Boston Legal (TV series) – Whitney Rome
2007: Talk to Me – Vernell Watson
2006: Smokin’ Aces – Sharice Watters
2006: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (TV series) – Christina
2006: Something New – Nedra
2005: House M.D. (TV series) – Moira
2005: Half & Half (TV series) – Gabrielle
2005: Animal (video) – Ramona
2005: Four Brothers – Camille Mercer
2005: Hustle & Flow – Shug
2004: Hair Show – Tiffany
2004: All of Us (TV series) – Kim
2003-2004: The Division (TV series) – Inspector Raina Washington
2002: Holla (TV series) – Guest
2001: Baby Boy – Yvette
2001: Murder, She Wrote: The Last Free Man (TV movie) – Bess Pinckney
2001: All or Nothing – Kiko
2000: The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle – Left-Wing Student
2000: Strong Medicine (TV series) – Crystal
2000: Satan’s School for Girls (TV movie) – Paige
1999: Pacific Blue (TV series) – Rhonda
1998-1999: Felicity (TV series) – Art Student/R.A. #2
1997-1998: Smart Guy (TV series) – Monique/Leslie
1998: Saved by the Bell: The New Class (TV series) – Girl #3
1998: ER (TV series) – Elan/Patrice Robbins
1998: Streetwise
1997: Sister, Sister (TV series) – Briana


5′ 5″ (1.65 m)