An Inside Look at Taraji P Henson’s Net Worth, Son, and Boyfriend

Age/Date of Birth:
September 11, 1970
5 feet, 5 inches (1.65 m)
Husband or Boyfriend:Kelvin Hayden
Parents:Father: Boris Henson
Mother: Bernice Gordon
Net Worth:$16 million

Taraji P Henson is an American actress and singer. Widely popular for her role as Cookie Lyon in the FOX hit musical series Empire, Henson first gained recognition in the early 2000’s for her role in the comedy-drama Baby Boy. She further established herself in Hollywood with acclaimed roles in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) alongside Brad Pitt for which she received an Oscar and SAG nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Taraji’s other acclaimed and successful movies include Tyler Perry‘s The Family That Preys (2008) and I Can Do Bad All By Myself (2009), Karate Kid (2010), Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story (2011) which brought her an Emmy nomination, Think Like A Man (2012) and No Good Deed (2014). Nevertheless, her most popular role both in TV and film remains that of Cookie Lyon.

Henson has won Primetime Emmy’s Best Outstanding Lead Actress in Drama Series for two consecutive times (2015, 2016). In 2016, she became the third African-American woman to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in Television Series Drama. Her net worth is $16 million as of 2020.

Early Life and Career Beginnings of Taraji P Henson

Taraji Penda Henson was born on September 11, 1970, in Washington, D.C. Though her parents divorced when she was just two, they both remained active and well involved in her upbringing. She has particularly credited her father for providing her with adequate moral support during her childhood. Taraji developed a passion for theatre at a very early age. After an unsuccessful attempt to enrol in a performing arts high school, she later attended Oxon Hill, Maryland from where she graduated in 1988.

Taraji P Henson

After high school, Taraji thought she’d try her hands on something other than theatre. She attended college at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University where she studied Electrical Engineering. Who would’ve guessed? However, after she failed pre-calculus in her freshman year, she knew it was either theatre or nothing else. Taraji transferred to Howard University and begun her studies in drama.

At this point, she faced the challenge of paying tuition. To overcome the hurdle, determined Taraji had to work two jobs; there was no stopping her from her dreams of becoming an actress. In the day, she would work as a secretary at the Pentagon while in the evenings she’d wow guests at Spirit of Washington cruise-ship with her amazing voice. Thanks to her outstanding display of talents at Howard including dancing, Taraji was able to earn the “Triple Threat Scholarship” and in 1995, she graduated with a degree in theatre.

Details of Her Net Worth and Career Earnings

Shortly after graduation, Taraji P Henson was set to begin making her mark in the entertainment industry. She moved to Los Angeles and began auditioning. Per reports, the single mother at the time, had her bank balance reading just $700.

In 1997, about two years after college graduation, Taraji landed her first professional gig in the WB sitcom “Smart Guy”. She portrayed Mo’Nique for three episodes until 1998. Next up was a role in another sitcom, Sister Sister and then NBC hit medical drama, ER.

After two movie features, Taraji landed her breakthrough starring role as Yvette in the 2001 Box Office hit comedy-drama, Bad Boy. She received a $65,000 paycheck for her role. She followed up with roles in movies like Enough (2002) and Hair Show (2004). At this point, P Henson’s bank balance had received quite a boost. Her purchase of a cozy Spanish style dig in Glendale, LA for $431,000 in 2002, revealed just how lucrative her numerous gigs were. However, in 2015 after over a decade living in the 2-bedroom-2.5-bathroom house, the actress put rented it out for $3,400 per month.

Taraji P Henson

Taraji P Henson got another big break in 2004 with her role as Shug in Hustle & Flow opposite Terrence Howard with whom she would later co-star in Empire. Hustle & Flow wasn’t only a box office hit but a recipient of two Oscar nominations winning one for Best Song for its soundtrack – Henson’s “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”.

While being prolific on the big screen, Taraji wasn’t quiet on the small screen either. She made notable appearances in Person of Interest, Boston Legal, and The Division which paid her $22,000 per episode.

As big brands are synonymous with popular celebrities, Taraji’s new found global fame landed her an endorsement deal with makeup giant, MAC. With the brand, Henson launched her own line called ‘The #MACTaraji Collection’ in August 2016. Retail began in September 2016 with her merchandise going for $17 to $42.

In all, Taraji P Henson’s vast contributions to Hollywood so far in her career, brings her net worth to an estimated $16 million.

Who is Taraji’s Son, Marcell?

  • Full Name: Marcell Johnson
  • Date of Birth: May 10, 1994
  • Occupation: Model, Actor
Image Source

Marcell is Taraji P Henson’s only child and son. She had him in 1994 with her then boyfriend, William LaMarr Johnson a.k.a. Mark while studying at Howard. After high school, then 18-year-old Marcel launched a modeling career with MySquareBear clothing. He later made his runway debut at the 2018 New York Fashion Week for Edwing D’Angelo. The celebrity son has also appeared in a number of films/tv shows including Empire (2015), Misled (2015), Needlestick (2017) and Little (2019).

Who was Taraji P Henson’s Baby Daddy?

Marcell’s father, William LaMarr Johnson was Taraji’s high school sweetheart. In her autobiography – Around the Way Girl: A Memoir, the actress disclosed that she abandoned what she had with Johnson because of his constant physical abuse.

Unfortunately, William lost his life to multiple stabbing at the age of 34. His brutal killing occurred in 2003 in Washington, D.C. Both Taraji and her then nine-year-old son went in for therapy after William’s murder. Henson has since made the grown-up Marcell her constant companion, often making red carpet appearances with him.

Is She Married Now or Dating Someone?

Image Source Taraji an Kelvin

So far, Taraji has no husband neither had she married anyone. However, she began a relationship with former NFL player, Kelvin Hayden sometime in 2015. After speculations became rife that the two are having something special, Henson affirmed in one of Essence’s December 2017 Yes Girl! podcast that she and Kelvin have been lovers for two years.

Although Taraji P Henson is 13 years older than Kelvin Hayden, the actress expressed that she is happy with the way things are going in the relationship. The fact that the former NFL star has two kids from previous affairs also did not deter them.

Hayden in May 2018, popped the big question to the great excitement of Taraji and her fans. But a little over two year later and to fan’s disappointment, Taraji revealed in an October 19, 2020 episode of The Breakfast Club that she has ended her engagement with Kelvin. It just didn’t work out between them, after all!

Profile Summary
First Name:Taraji
Last Name:Henson
Also Known As:
Actress and author
Famous For:Drama film "Hidden Figures",
Colleges/Universities Attended:
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Howard University
Educational Qualifications:
BA Degree in Drama
Birthday & Zodiac
Age/Date of Birth:
September 11, 1970
Zodiac Sign:Virgo
Birth Place:
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Country of Residence:
United States of America(USA)
Physical Attributes
5 feet, 5 inches (1.65 m)
weight - 60 kg
Eye Colour:
Hair Color:
Other Body Measurements:
Breast Size‎: ‎38 inches (96.5 cm)

Waist Size‎: ‎28 inches (71 cm)

Hips size: 37 inches (94cm)

Waist Size‎: ‎28 inches (71 cm)
Marital Status:
Kelvin Hayden
Family and Relatives
Boris Henson
Mother:Bernice Gordon
Marcell Johnson (Son, 1994)
Siblings:2 younger siblings: Shawn and April
Other Relatives:
Net Worth
Estimated Net Worth:
$16 million
Source of Wealth:
Uwa Echebiri
Uwa Echebiri
Reading about the luxe lives of celebrities is something many find too vain to indulge in, however, Uwa’s expert analysis on celebrity wealth would pique the curiosity of the most uninterested folk.


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