Taraji Penda Henson is an American actress and singer. Henson 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). Henson's breakthrough role was in the 2001 comedy drama film Baby Boy which she portrayed Yvette, alongside singer Tyrese Gibson.
Henson graduated from Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland, in 1988 She then attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and transferred toHoward University. To pay for college, she worked mornings as a secretary at The Pentagon and evenings as a singing-dancing waitress on a dinner-cruise ship, the Spirit of Washington. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1995.
Henson became pregnant her junior year of college, and gave birth in 1994 to her son Marcel. Her son's father was her high-school sweetheart.