Who can forget her role as Jody’s feisty baby mama Yvette in Baby Boy, or her role as Queenie alongside Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? In honor of her 45th birthday, we’re celebrating Taraji as an amazing actress whose talent spans over the years from dramatic to comedic.
Check out our list of Taraji P. Henson’s best roles before becoming a Lyon.
Baby Boy – Yvette (2001)
As Jody’s girlfriend, baby mama, and future wife, Yvette was feisty and loyal. This role also marked the film debut of both Taraji and Tyrese.
Hustle & Flow – Shug (2005)
The Academy Award-winning film was the first time Taraji worked with future TV husband Terrence Howard.
The Family That Preys (2008)
Taraji worked alongside Tyler Perry for the first time as his wife in this 2008 drama.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Taraji played Queenie in the romantic drama alongside Brad Pitt; scoring her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Not Easily Broken (2009)
She played Morris Chestnut’s wife in the romantic comedy based on T.D. Jakes’ novel of the same name, which follows a couple on the rocks.
I Can Do Bad All By Myself (2009)
Taraji teamed up with Tyler Perry once again as an alcoholic singer who gets custody of her three misbehaving nieces.
The Karate Kid (2010)
Who better to play a young Jaden Smith’s movie mom than Taraji? She starred alongside Jaden and Jackie Chan, and got to work with Will and Jada, who both produced the film.
From The Rough (2013)
Taraji played the leading role in the true story of Catana Starks, a former Tennessee State Tigers swim coach who became the first woman ever to coach a college men’s golf team. The film also marked Michael Clark Duncan’s last role before his passing.
Think Like A Man (2012)
She played Lauren Harris, “The Woman Who Is Her Own Man,” in the ensemble film based on a Steve Harvey book. The movie grossed over $33.7 million during its opening weekend and spawned a successful sequel.
No Good Deed (2014)
For her first thriller, Taraji teamed up with Think Like A Man producer Will Packer and megastar Idris Elba. The film marked Packer’s third number one movie that year.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
20 Reasons Taraji P. Henson Is Our Favorite Girl In Hollywood (PHOTOS)
1. Because that one eyebrow is ALWAYS on fleek.1 of 20
2. Because she's a Howard University woman.2 of 20
3. Because she's serving EVERYTHING on Fox's new hit show "Empire."3 of 20
4. Because we all have a little "Yvette" from "Baby Boy" in us. (And some of us have had a Jody in our lives too).4 of 20
5. Because somehow she manages to make every selfie on Instagram look like a full-fledged photoshoot.5 of 20
6. Because she's never afraid to take off the heels and just be a down chick.6 of 20
7. Because she's never hesitant to show love to other sisters in Hollywood.7 of 20
8. Because this reminds us of something we would do in the pool. Basically...we're all Taraji.8 of 20
9. Because she uses her celebrity for the causes that mean the most.9 of 20
10. That hair!10 of 20
11. Because her filmography is more diverse than people who've been in the game longer than her (and we must say...better).11 of 20
12. Because she rocked this patterned ensemble on the 'Gram and now we wish we had one.12 of 20
13. Because no matter the role, the time period, or the emotion, she's spot on.13 of 20
14. Did we mention the hair?14 of 20
15. All of these movies...ALL OF THEM.15 of 20
16. Because she got a chance to do this to Idris Elba. It's not fair, but that's our girl, so we're happy for her.16 of 20
17. Because she's always a little DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) wherever she goes (even when she's rocking a NY hat).17 of 20
18. There goes that hair...18 of 20
19. Need we say more?19 of 20
20. And because she'll always be the relatable girl next door that we love. Never change, Taraji!20 of 20
Before The “Empire:” 10 Amazing Taraji P. Henson Roles Pre-Cookie Lyon was originally published on globalgrind.com