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TARAJI P. HENSON (Ann Atwater), an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actor, writer and producer, quickly rose to fame after her breakout performance in the critically acclaimed Hustle & Flow. Nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by a Cast," the film also brought Henson BET's "Best Actress" award.

Henson currently stars as Cookie Lyon in Fox Television's hit musical drama "Empire," which has brought her three Emmy nominations, a Golden Globe Award, a Critic's Choice Award and three BET Awards. Prior to "Empire," Henson had recurring roles on "Person of Interest," "Boston Legal" and "The Division."

In 2017, Henson portrayed NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson in the Academy Award-nominated film Hidden Figures. Henson and her fellow actors received the Screen Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture."

Henson's credits also include: Tyler Perry's Acrimony and The Family That Preys; Proud Mary; Think Like A Man and Think Like A Man Too with Kevin Hart; Talk To Me, opposite Don Cheadle; Smokin' Aces, with Ben Affleck and Alicia Keys; Hurricane Season, opposite Forest Whitaker; No Good Deed, opposite Idris Elba, which opened #1 at the box office; Larry Crowne, with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts; Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story, for which Henson earned an Emmy Award nomination for "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie;" and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, with Brad Pitt, which brought her an Academy Award nomination for "Best Supporting Actress."

Henson lends her voice alongside Sarah Silverman, John C. Reilly and Gal Gadot in Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck It Ralph 2, and stars in Paramount's 2019 comedy What Men Want from director Adam Shankman.

In October 2016, Henson released her New York Times bestselling novel Around the Way Girl, a memoir about her family and friends, her determination to make it to Hollywood and the importance of living your own truth. In Around the Way Girl, she reminisces on the world-class theater arts education she received at Howard University, and how she chipped away at Hollywood's resistance to giving women, especially women of color, rich and significant roles. With her iconic humor and honesty, Henson shares the struggles and disappointments of an actor's journey and shows audiences that she is ever authentic.

Henson recently launched the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in honor of her late father. The organization will provide scholarships to African-American students majoring in mental health, offer mental health services to youth in urban schools, and work to lower the recidivism rates of African-American men and women.

A Washington, D.C. native, Henson currently resides in Chicago.

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