Terrence Howard Biography

Terrence Howard Biography on Monsters and Critics


"Terrence Dashon Howard" (born March 11, 1969) is an Academy Award-nominated American film and stage actor. Having appeared in film and on television since the late 1980s, Howard had his first major role in the 1995 film "Mr. Holland's Opus", which subsequently led to a number of roles in films and high visibility among African-American audiences. Howard broke into the mainstream with a succession of well-reviewed television and film roles between 2004 and 2006, among them "Ray", "Lackawanna Blues", "Crash", " Four Brothers", "Hustle & Flow", "Get Rich or Die Tryin'", and "Idlewild".


Early life

Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois, and was raised in Cleveland, Ohio. His grandmother, Minnie Gentry, was a stage actress, as were his mother and uncles. His parents were both multiracial, of African American and white descent; he has said he experienced racism throughout his childhood. His father, Tyrone Howard, was involved in what has been termed the Santa Line Slaying, serving 11 months in prison on manslaughter charges after stabbing another man in self-defense. At the age of 16, Howard emancipated himself from his parents and was put on welfare; at 18, he moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. He wanted to be a science teacher, though he had a low grade point average in high school and was admitted to the Pratt Institute in New York only after convincing them to give him a special entrance exam. Howard did not complete his education, as he had joined his brother on an audition for "The Cosby Show" and was cast in the role.


Howard's made his big film break in 1995s "Mr. Holland's Opus". He continued being cast in television and movie roles and co-starred as 'Greg Sparks' in the late-1990s television series "Sparks" with James L. Avery, Sr. and Miguel A. Nunez Jr. Howard also appeared in Ashanti's music video for her 2002 single 'Foolish' and in Mary J. Blige's video for 'Be Without You'.

In 2005, he received both Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for his role in "Hustle & Flow" (a role for which he was paid only $12,000). In 2006, Howard was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2007, He appeared in the film "Pride", playing Jim Ellis, a real-life schoolteacher who founded the first African-American swim team during the 1970s. Howard trained with Ellis for several months in preparation for the role. The same year, he starred in "The Hunting Party", a comic thriller in which he played a cameraman in Bosnia opposite Richard Gere and Jesse Eisenberg; and "The Brave One", a drama co-starring Jodie Foster. His upcoming roles include "August Rush", a film also starring Robin Williams; "Awake", a thriller with Jessica Alba; and "Iron Man", in which he will play Jim Rhodes. 'I feel like Sidney Poitier and Jackie Robinson', he told CraveOnline in regards to his responsibility to successfully portray the character's integrity as an ethnic superhero. Filming on "Iron Man" began in the spring of 2007. It has also been announced that Howard will re-team with "Hustle & Flow" director Craig Brewer for a film based on the life of Country Music legend Charley Pride.

Howard has stated that he looks for characters that 'teach him about himself' when chosing his film roles. Howard has also worked as a film producer, receiving such a credit for the film "Pride".

Personal life

Howard, who lives outside Philadelphia in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, was married to Lori McCommas for 14 years. The couple has three children: two daughters (Aubrey and Heaven) and a son (Hunter). Howard and his wife divorced in 2003 and remarried again in 2005, but have since separated. Press reports have since noted that Howard is 'trying to reunite' with his wife, and that he has stated that he is 'chasing after' her. Howard was raised in the Muslim religion and was interested in the Jehovah's Witness faith, in which his wife is raising their children. He is a self-taught guitarist and pianist. Howard has described physics as his 'main love' and has expressed interest in completing his education and obtaining a doctorate.

In the September 2007 issue of "Elle Magazine", he described his hygiene preferences for women:

'Toilet paper - and no baby wipes - in the bathroom. If they're using dry paper, they aren't washing all of themselves. It's just unclean. So if I go in a woman's house and see the toilet paper there, I'll explain this. And if she doesn't make the adjustment to baby wipes, I'll know she's not completely clean.'


Although Howard was not a music artist, he performed in several tracks for "Hustle and Flow". The song 'It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp' was written by Three 6 Mafia and produced by DJ Paul. It won the 78th Annual Academy Awards' 'Best Original Song' award, and it is also available in a version by Three 6 Mafia. The songs 'Hustle And Flow (It Ain't Over)' and 'Whoop That Trick', were composed by Al Kapone. All three tracks were performed by Terrence Howard, and they can be heard in the "Hustle & Flow Soundtrack". As of March 2007, Howard is working on his first album, having already recorded the first track, collaborating with singer Chris Brown. Howard has described the album, containing Spanish guitar and R&B and scheduled for a fall 2007 release, as 'urban country'.

Awards and nominations


2000: NAACP Image Awards, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture ("The Best Man")

2002: Black Reel Award, Network/Cable-Best Supporting Actor ("Boycott")

2005: Black Movie Award, Best Actor ("Hustle & Flow")

2005: Los Angeles Film Critics Association, New Generation Award

2006: NAACP Image Awards, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture ("Crash")


2000 Black Reel Award, Best Supporting Actor (Film) ("The Best Man")

2005: Black Movie Award, Best Supporting Actor ("Crash"

2005: Critic's Choice Awards, Best Actor ("Hustle & Flow")

2005: Critic's Choice Awards, Best Ensemble, ("Crash")

2005: Golden Globe Award, Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama, ("Hustle & Flow")

2006: Academy Award, Best Actor ("Hustle & Flow")

External links

(Howard interview, August 2005, Bullz-Eye.com)

(Howard interview, July 2005, New York Metro)

(Howard interview, May 2005, About.com)

(Terrence Howard interview) on the Tavis Smiley show

(Terrence Howard is Bad Now!)

(2007 NPR interview) , 'Terrence Howard: 'I Would Be a Witness"

(Terrence Howard interview, Sports Interview Magazine)


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article about Terrence Howard.

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