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10 Interesting Facts About Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson is best known for her role in FOX’s mega-hit musical drama Empire as the incomparable Cookie Lyon. We love her sultry vibes, truth-telling.  She is so perfectly matched for this role that we can't imagine anyone else as that character.

Currently, Taraji P Henson and Terrence Howard are in South Africa to promote season 3 of Empire starting in September 2016. Taraji P. Henson won the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series — Drama for 'Empire'.

Taraji P. Henson has been a hot force in Hollywood for more than a decade. Here are interesting facts about her.

1. In Us Magazine's piece, she revealed that her college nickname was Cookie.

2. Her first and middle names are of Swahili origin, "Taraji" meaning hope and "Penda" meaning love.

3. The father of her son, her high-school sweetheart William Lamar Johnson, was murdered in 2003.

4. According to a mitochondrial DNA analysis, her matrilineal lineage can be traced to the Masa people of Cameroon.

5. 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.

6. During college, she did hair in her apartment between classes, charging $20 a head.

7. Taraji is a supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and in January 2011 appeared nude in an ad for the I'd Rather Be Naked Than Wear Fur campaign.

8. She landed her breakout role in 2001 in Baby Boy, opposite Tyrese Gibson.

9. In 2005’s Hustle and Flow, Henson made her feature film vocal debut, performing Three 6 Mafia’s track “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.” The song won an Academy Award for Best Song in 2006 and Henson performed the song at the Oscars in March of that same year.

10. She announced on Instagram to announce the release date for her new memoir "Around The Way Girl" set to hit shelved early October.

PIC CREDIT: John Russo,WMagazine and CR-Fashion Book

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