by TV One Staff
April 28, 2016
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Terrence Howard began his acting career as Jackie Jackson in the television miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream, which was quickly followed by several notable TV appearances on shows such as Living Single and NYPD Blue. He made his feature film debut in the 1993 movie Who’s the Man?, which he followed with the role of Cowboy in the period saga Dead Presidents. In 1995, Howard was noticed for his role as a star high school athlete in Mr. Holland’s Opus, and soon after was offered a lead role on the television series Sparks. In 1999, he was honored with the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, an Independent Spirit Award nomination and a Chicago Film Critics Association Award nomination for his role as Quentin in The Best Man. He also won an NAACP Image Award in 2011 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Law and Order: L.A.
He is perhaps best known for his Golden Globe® and Academy Award®-nominated work in Hustle & Flow, as well as for his supporting role in the film Crash, for which he received a National Board of Review Award for Best Breakthrough Performance. For his role as Lucious Lyon on Empire, Howard won the BET Award for Best Actor.
Howard was seen in the sequel The Best Man Holiday, Prisoners with Hugh Jackman, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Dead Man Down, Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep and On the Road. In addition to Empire, Howard appeared on the FOX event series Wayward Pines.
Howard portrayed Nelson Mandela, opposite Jennifer Hudson, in the film Winnie. He also starred alongside Cuba Gooding Jr. and Bryan Cranston in George Lucas’ Red Tails. His other film credits include Valerie Flake, Best Laid Plans, the Academy Award®-nominated Ray, Pride, The Brave One, August Rush and Iron Man. In 2008, he made his Broadway debut in an all African-American production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. A self-taught musician, Howard plays both the piano and the guitar and displayed his musical talents in Ray as Ray Charles’ one-time guitarist, Gossie McKee, and in Hustle & Flow as the rapper Djay, in which Howard performed all the tracks for his character, including “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” which won the Academy Award® for Best Original Song.