Who is Taraji P. Henson?
Taraji P. Henson is an American actress best known for playing notable characters like Loretha “Cookie” Lyon in the television drama “Empire” and Melinda Gayle in the Tyler Perry movie “Acrimony”.
Taraji P. Henson’s full name is Taraji Penda Henson. She was born on September 11, 1970, in Washington, D.C, United States. She is 51 years old as of September 2022.
Meaning of Taraji P. Henson’s names
According to reports, Taraji’s first and middle names are of Swahili origin with Taraji meaning “hope” and Penda meaning “love”. The actress’s matrilineal lineage can be traced to the Masa people of Cameroon.
About Taraji P. Henson’s parents
Taraji P. Henson was born to her parents: Bernice Ballard – née Ballard (mother) and Boris Lawrence Henson (father) as the eldest of three children. Her mother worked as a corporate manager at Woodward & Lothrop while her father was a janitor and metal fabricator.
Boris Lawrence Henson – Taraji P. Henson’s father
Boris Lawrence Henson is the father of actress Taraji P. Henson. He was born on January 12, 1948, but passed away on February 19, 2006, at the age of 58. He was a janitor, metal fabricator, and also a Vietnam war veteran until he died of liver cancer.
Bernice Gordon – Taraji P. Henson’s mother
Bernice Gordon (née Ballard) is the mother of Taraji P. Henson. She worked as a corporate manager at the department store Woodward & Lothrop. According to reports, Taraji’s parents were in an abusive marriage and eventually got divorced, leaving her mother to raise her and her siblings all alone.
In her memoir “Around The Way Girl”, Taraji recalled how her father would drag her mother by the hair into his car and threaten to kill her. According to her, that was one of the many violent episodes between her parents until they finally went their separate ways. Her father later got married to his second wife Angela Henson while her mother got married to Vernon Gordon.
Taraji P. Henson’s siblings
Taraji P. Henson is the first of three children born to her parents. Her younger siblings include her sister April “MzCockee” Henson, and her brother, Shawn Henson.
a. April “MzCockee” Henson
April “MzCockee” Henson is the younger sister of Taraji P. Henson. April Henson works as a mental health advocate and personal assistant to her sister. She is also the CEO of House of Hen Scents and the Youth Program Manager of BL Henson Foundation.
b. Shawn Henson
Shawn Henson is the younger brother of Taraji P. Henson. Not much is known about him.
Taraji P. Henson’s marriage and wedding
As of the time of publishing this article (September 2022), Taraji P. Henson is not married and does not have a husband. In fact, the “Acrimony” actress has never been married. Taraji was previously engaged to former NFL player Kelvin Hayden in 2018. In October 2020, she announced that her engagement to Kelvin Hayden has been called off.
Apart from Hayden, Taraji P. Henson has also dated or had a fling with other celebrities like Common, Lamar Odom, etc.
List of Taraji P. Henson’s boyfriends
Taraji P. Henson is one of those celebrities who rarely talks about her love life but when she does, she reveals very little. Here is a list of the men Taraji has dated in the past. The list also includes her ex-fiancé, Kelvin Hayden.
- Taraji P. Henson dated William LaMarr “Mark” Johnson in 1986.
- Taraji P. Henson dated Hill Harper in 2002.
- Taraji P. Henson dated Common in 2005.
- Taraji P. Henson dated Lamar Odom in 2009.
- Taraji P. Henson dated Michael Ealy in 2012.
- Taraji P. Henson dated Kelvin Hayden in 2015.
About Taraji P. Henson and William LaMarr “Mark” Johnson’s relationship
William LaMarr “Mark” Johnson was Taraji P. Henson’s college sweetheart and baby daddy. He was born on January 24, 1969, in the United States. Unfortunately, Johnson passed away on June 25, 2003, at the age of 34.
Taraji and William LaMarr “Mark” Johnson met at Oxon Hill High school, Maryland, the United States and they dated from September 1986 to October 1994. After years of being together, Taraji became pregnant with their son, Marcell Johnson who was born in 1994. In her memoir “Around the Way Girl”, she referred to William as her first love and forever man, but it came as a surprise to many when she revealed that her relationship with William had a dark side. Taraji was in an abusive relationship with William which often reminded her of the abusive father she grew up with.
The next thing I knew, Mark’s balled-up fist came straight for my face. I pulled my hand from my mouth and looked at the blood on my trembling finger. I said You know what? “I don’t have to do this and I don’t have to hate you for it”
As a result, she then decided to leave the relationship but allowed William to maintain a close relationship with their son, Marcell. Unfortunately, on June 25, 2003, William was killed during a confrontation with his neighbours. According to information gathered by DNB Stories Africa, late William LaMarr “Mark” Johnson had gone to question a married couple residing in his neighbourhood about the vandalism of an associate’s car. A fight ensued during the confrontation, leading to Johnson getting badly beaten and stabbed multiple times.
P. Henson once admitted that she often feels sad for her son who was robbed of his father at an extremely tender age. Marcell Johnson was 9 at the time of his father’s death.
About Taraji P. Henson and Hill Harper’s relationship
Hill Harper is an American actor and author. He was born on May 17, 1966, in Iowa City, Iowa, United States. He is 56 years old as of September 2022.
Taraji and Hill Harper started dating in 2002 but kept their romance a secret until 2016 when Hill revealed in an interview that they were in a wonderful relationship for nearly two years. Their relationship probably lasted from 2002 to 2004.
Harper attributed the breakup to his commitment issues but claims he had no regrets about being with Taraji.
Taraji Henson and I were in a relationship for about a year and a half, two years. Wonderful relationship. Just because you are in a healthy, great relationship that ends doesn’t mean it wasn’t successful or it was a failure. Not all relationships are meant to end in marriage.
About Taraji P. Henson and Lamar Odom’s relationship
Lamar Odom is a former American professional basketball player. He was born on November 6, 1979, in South Jamaica, New York, United States. He is 42 years old as of September 2022.
Taraji and Lamar Odom met at an HBO party in 2009 but kept their relationship out of the public eye until Lamar shared details of their relationship in an interview session. In Lamar’s memoir, “Darkness to Light”, Lamar referred to his relationship with Taraji as “hot and heavy”. He also revealed that being with Taraji was the happiest time of his life.
Unfortunately, the relationship came to an end when Lamar Odom began seeing American television personality, Khloé Kardashian. In a recent interview, the former basketball player revealed if he had the chance to date one of his famous ex-girlfriends, he would date Taraji again. He also praised the actress for being very skilled in what she does as an actress.
About Taraji P. Henson and Kelvin Hayden’s relationship
Kelvin Hayden is a former American football comeback. He was born on July 23, 1983, in Chicago, Illinois, United States. He is 39 years old as of September 2022.
Taraji and Kelvin Hayden started dating in 2015 but kept their relationship private until 2017 when they went public with their romance. The actress later took to her Instagram page to share the news of her romance with Kevin Hayden, writing:
I am very happy in my personal space. Finally, it happened to me. You know, I’m not the type to blast my personal business. I think that it’s important for people to know that I’m happy. We’ve been together for two years and no one would know that because I don’t blast my info like that but I’m very happy.
Kelvin Hayden proposed to Taraji P. Henson in May 2018 by giving her a Cartier bracelet first and then going down on one knee with a diamond ring. The pair were set to wed in April 2020 but had to delay the wedding due to their busy schedules. They later postponed the marriage to a later date due to the coronavirus pandemic. Months after they postponed their wedding, fans began speculating that the pair may have separated.
Taraji was first spotted not wearing her engagement ring in photos she shared on Instagram which sparked rumours of a split. Kelvin Hayden was also noticeably absent from Taraji’s 50th birthday celebration in September 2020. The actress later confirmed in October that her engagement with Hayden has been called off.
Speaking about the split, she said:
I am dedicated to the black man y’all. I just turned 50 and I mean, I hadn’t said it yet, but it didn’t work out. I tried. “I was like, let’s do the therapy thing, but if you’re both not on the same page with that, then you feel like you’re taking it on yourself and that’s not a fair position for anybody to play in a relationship. She further revealed “My happiness is not his responsibility and his happiness is not mine. We have to first learn how to make ourselves happy to make each other happy.
According to information gathered by DNB Stories Africa, Kelvin Hayden was previously in a relationship with his former lover Carla Boyd. They share two children together named Kelvin III and Kellen. Hayden also has a daughter named Kyra Hayden from another previous affair, bringing his total number of kids to three, as of the time of writing.
Taraji P. Henson’s children
Taraji P. Henson is a single mother of one child. The 51-year-old “Empire” actress has a grown-up son named Marcell Johnson whom she shares with her late boyfriend Willaim Lamarr “Mark” Johnson.
About Taraji P. Henson’s son – Marcell Johnson
Marcell Johnson is the only child of actress Taraji P. Henson. He is an American actor and model known for his role in the TV series “Empire” where he played the character “Marcel”. He was born on May 10, 1994, in Washington, DC, United States. He is 28 years old as of September 2022. Marcell began his modelling career in 2012 when he got signed to Square Bear clothing company.
Marcell Johnson has also walked the runway at the New York Fashion Week. As an actor, he has featured in movies and TV shows like Misled (2015), A Girl Like Her (2015), Detroiters (2017), Needlestick (2017), Empire (2016-2019), and others.