Born in Chicago, IL, Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actor 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 in 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: Los Angeles.” He is perhaps best known for his Golden Globe Award- 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 2015 BET Award for Best Actor.
Howard was seen in “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 FOX’s event series, “Wayward Pines.”
In the film “Winnie,” Howard portrayed Nelson Mandela, opposite Jennifer Hudson. 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.
This fall, Howard receives a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.