Meet our Ambassador.
Taraji P. Henson
Taraji Henson stars as Cookie Lyon in the groundbreaking hit Empire on Fox. She won a Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actress in Drama Series for her portrayal of Cookie Lyon. Henson earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress opposite Brad Pitt in David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Taraji is a 2011 Emmy nominee for Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries for Lifetime’s Taken From Me. She starred as Detective Joss Carter in the highly rated J.J. Abrams crime drama Person of Interest for CBS and won the 2015 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a feature film and also the Entertainer of the Year.
Taraji starred opposite Idris Elba in the Sony thriller No Good Deed which opened number one at the box office. Henson starred in the Sony comedy hits Think Like a Man and Think Like a Man Too. She starred in From the Rough, national release April 2014; the true story of Catana Starks of Tennessee State University who was the first woman coach to win a NCAA Championship.
In Larry Crowne she co-starred with star and director Tom Hanks. She starred in the hugely successful Karate Kid opposite Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, and in Date Night with Tina Fey and Steve Carrell. For her role in Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself, she received the 2009 Diversity Award for Best Actress. She also starred in Peep World playing Rainn Wilson’s love interest; The Good Doctor with Orlando Bloom and Once Fallen with Ed Harris.
Henson received rave reviews for her role in Focus Features’ Talk to Me opposite Don Cheadle. She co-starred in the ensemble action drama Smokin’ Aces with Ben Affleck and Alicia Keys. Henson was named Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Feature Film by the Black Movie Awards and received the BET Best Actress nod for her performance as Shug in the gutsy drama Hustle & Flow, also starring Terrence Howard. She starred in Sony’s Not Easily Broken opposite Morris Chestnut, opposite Forest Whitaker in Hurricane Season, and Kathy Bates in Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys.
Henson made her singing debut in Hustle & Flow and performed the Academy Award-winning song, “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” on the Oscar telecast. She reunited for the third time with John Singleton to film Four Brothers with Mark Wahlberg. Henson co-starred with Simon Baker in Something New. Henson is well remembered for her role as Yvette opposite Tyrese in Baby Boy.
Taraji was a series regular on David E. Kelly’s Boston Legal and recurred on ABC’s Eli Stone. Henson starred in the Pasadena Playhouse production of Bernard Weinraub’s new play Above the Fold, and in NY Public Radio’s production of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone directed by Phylicia Rashad, as part of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle.
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., the Howard University graduate resides in Los Angeles with her son. Henson has a strong dedication to helping disabled and less fortunate children and reveals, “I always stress to kids to have faith in themselves—the greatest recipe for success is self confidence.”