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Terrence Howard

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Title: Terrence Howard  
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Subject: Hustle & Flow, List of American films of 2013, List of American films of 2007, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, The Butler
Collection: 1969 Births, 20Th-Century American Male Actors, 21St-Century American Male Actors, African-American Male Actors, African-American Rappers, American Male Film Actors, American Male Television Actors, American Male Voice Actors, American People of European Descent, Columbia Records Artists, Living People, Male Actors from Chicago, Illinois, Male Actors from Cleveland, Ohio, Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Screen Actors Guild Award Winners, Pratt Institute Alumni
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Terrence Howard

Terrence Howard
Born Terrence Dashon Howard
(1969-03-11) March 11, 1969 [1]
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actor, singer-songwriter, record producer
Years active 1992–present
Spouse(s) Lori McCommas (1989–2003, 2005–2007)
Michelle Ghent (2010–2011)

Terrence Dashon Howard (born March 11, 1969) is an American actor and singer. Having his first major role in the 1995 film Mr. Holland's Opus, Howard broke into the mainstream with a succession of television and film roles between 2004 and 2006. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Hustle & Flow. Howard has had prominent roles in many other movies including Winnie, Ray, Lackawanna Blues, Crash, Four Brothers, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Idlewild, August Rush and The Brave One. Howard co-starred in Iron Man and reprised the role in the video game adaptation.

His debut album, Shine Through It, was released in September 2008.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
    • Allegations of domestic violence 3.1
  • Music 4
  • Filmography 5
    • Film 5.1
    • Television films 5.2
    • Television 5.3
    • Video games 5.4
  • Discography 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life

Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Anita Jeanine Williams (née Hawkins) and Tyrone Howard.[2][3][4] His maternal great-grandmother, Minnie Gentry, was a stage actress, as were his mother and uncles.[5][6] Both of his parents were African American, and also had European American lineage; he experienced racism in his childhood.[7] His father was involved in what has been termed the Santa Line Slaying (1971), serving eleven months in prison on manslaughter charges after stabbing another man to death.[2] 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.[2] He wanted to be a science teacher, though he had a low GPA in high school and was admitted to the Pratt Institute in New York only after convincing them to give him a special entrance exam.[2][5] 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.[2]


Howard in May 2007

Howard first entered the entertainment world when he portrayed Jackie Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream, an ABC miniseries. Three years later, he made his big film break in 1995's 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 The Best Man in 1999, in Ashanti's music video for her 2002 single "Foolish", and in Mary J. Blige's video for "Be Without You". Howard also made an appearance on the TV series Family Matters. 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.[5]

Howard has stated that he looks for characters that "teach him about himself" when choosing his film roles.[5] Howard has also worked as a film producer, receiving such a credit for the film Pride. As of 2008, Howard hosts the PBS' series Independent Lens.

Howard was the highest-paid cast member of the 2008 film Iron Man. He did not appear in either of the follow-up sequels because it was reported that he would have had to take a 50 to 80 percent pay cut and was replaced by actor Don Cheadle.[8]

In 2008, he made his Broadway debut, playing Brick in an all-African-American production of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, directed by Debbie Allen and also starring James Earl Jones (Big Daddy), Phylicia Rashād (Big Mama) and Anika Noni Rose (Maggie). During rehearsals he allegedly attacked and seriously injured musical composer Tex Allen (brother of the director), who claimed to have suffered multiple injuries as a result of being punched multiple times in the head and face. In October 2008, Allen filed a $5 million lawsuit against Howard.[9]

In October 2008, Howard made a guest appearance in the short film For All Mankind directed by Daniel L. Clifton, filmed on location in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. In 2009, he starred in the movie Fighting.

It was reported on July 30, 2010, that Howard joined the cast of the new Law & Order: Los Angeles installment of the Law & Order franchise, wherein he will play Deputy District Attorney Joe Dekker. He will alternate shows with Alfred Molina, who portrays Deputy District Attorney Ricardo Morales.[10]

In 2011, Howard played Nelson Mandela in Winnie Mandela alongside Jennifer Hudson. He will be part of two upcoming Fox television shows, Empire and Wayward Pines. The former was created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong in which he will play a hip-hop mogul who discovers he is dying and must ensure the survival of his music empire. The cast will include Taraji P. Henson and Gabourey Sidibe. The latter series will be produced by M. Night Shyamalan and whose cast will include Matt Dillon, Melissa Leo, and Juliette Lewis.

Personal life

Howard, who lives outside Philadelphia in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania,[2] was married to Lori McCommas for 14 years.[11] The couple have 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 had since noted that Howard was "trying to reunite" with his wife, and that he had stated that he was "chasing after" her.[5] His wife was born Jewish but is raising their children as Jehovah's Witnesses.[12] In an interview with NPR, he said he wanted to become one of Jehovah's Witnesses as well.[13]

Howard married his girlfriend Michelle Ghent, a 33-year-old commercial production employee, in a secret ceremony in January 2010. On February 2, 2011, it was reported by TMZ that Michelle Ghent had filed for divorce. In December 2012, Howard became a grandfather for the first time when his daughter Aubrey and her husband welcomed their first child.[14]

Though he did not complete his engineering degree, Howard thinks of himself as an engineer and intends to return one day to complete the "three credits" of which he is currently short.[2][15][16][17] This claim, however, has not been confirmed, and the Pratt Institute which he claims to have attended has no Engineering degree program.[18] On February 26, 2013, Howard claimed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that he had earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from South Carolina State University that year. Although he was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters from SCSU in 2012, he never attended the university and never earned a degree in Chemical Engineering.[16]

In 2010, Howard was inducted as an honorary member into Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.[19]

In November 2014, Howard and his wife Miranda announced their pregnancy with what will be his fourth and her first child.[20]

Allegations of domestic violence

In February 2009, it was reported on The Smoking Gun that Howard was arrested in 2001 for a variety of charges related to a violent attack on his estranged wife, including simple assault, terrorist threats, harassment and stalking. According to police reports, he arrived at her house after an argument on the phone, forced entry into her home by breaking in doors, and chased her into the back yard where he punched her twice in the face with a closed fist. The violent attack ended when Howard's brother stopped it. In 2002 he pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace.[21]

These issues came to light after he reportedly downplayed singer Chris Brown's 2009 arrest for attacking his girlfriend Rihanna. When Howard was asked about the allegations of domestic violence against Brown, he told a reporter from Hollywood.TV "It's just life, man. Chris is a great guy. He'll be all right, and Rihanna knows he loves her, you know? They'll be all right."[22]

According to The Smoking Gun, Howard was also arrested for assaulting a Continental Airlines flight attendant after refusing her request to return to his seat because the seat belt sign was on.[23]

According to Philadelphia magazine, Howard punched a woman in a Pennsylvania diner in 2005 and was charged with simple assault and harassment. Those charges were later withdrawn, and Howard plead guilty to disorderly conduct. In 2012, an ex-girlfriend of Howard accused him of punching and kicking her at his home. No charges were filed against Howard, but charges were filed against the ex-girlfriend. These charges were later withdrawn, and according to a lawsuit filed in Philadelphia, Howard paid the woman $75,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement about the incident at his home. In August 2013, Howard's second ex-wife, Michelle Ghent, obtained a restraining order against him after showing up in court with a black eye she says he gave her. Howard has denied hitting her.[24]


Howard released his debut, adult alternative album, Shine Through It in 2008 on Columbia Records. He described the album as "urban country" and either wrote or co-wrote all the tracks on the album.[25][26]

For the movie Hustle & Flow, Howard performed all the tracks for his rapper character including "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp", which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 78th Academy Awards.



Year Title Role Other notes
1992 The Jacksons: An American Dream Adult Jackie Jackson
1993 Who's the Man? Customer
1995 LottoLand Warren
1995 Dead Presidents Cowboy
1995 Mr. Holland's Opus Louis Russ
1996 Sunset Park Spaceman
1996 Johns Jimmy the Warlock
1997 Double Tap Ulysses
1998 Butter Dexter Banks
1998 Spark Byron
1998 Players Club, TheThe Players Club K.C.
1999 Valerie Flake Hitchhiker
1999 Best Laid Plans Jimmy
1999 Best Man, TheThe Best Man Quentin Spivey NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actor
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
2000 Big Momma's House Lester Vesco
2000 Love Beat the Hell Outta Me Chris
2001 Investigating Sex Lorenz
2001 Angel Eyes Robby
2001 Glitter Timothy Walker
2002 Hart's War Lt. Lincoln A. Scott
2003 Love Chronicles T-Roy
2003 Biker Boyz Chu Chu
2004 Crash Cameron Thayer Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actor
Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Florida Film Critics Circle Pauline Kael Breakout Award
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
National Board of Review Award for Breakthrough Performance by an Actor
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Black Movie Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated—Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
2004 Ray Gossie McKee Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2005 Salon, TheThe Salon Patrick
2005 Lackawanna Blues Bill Crosby NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Nominated—Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actor
2005 Hustle & Flow Djay Austin Film Critics Association Award for Breakthrough Artist
BET Award for Best Actor
Black Movie Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Black Reel Award for Best Actor
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Song
Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated—Gotham Award – Breakthrough Award
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
2005 Four Brothers Lt. Green Nominated—Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
2005 Animal Darius Allen
2005 Get Rich or Die Tryin' Bama
2006 Idlewild Trumpy
2007 Pride Jim Ellis Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
2007 Hunting Party, TheThe Hunting Party Duck (journalist)
2007 Brave One, TheThe Brave One Detective Mercer
2007 August Rush Richard Jeffries (child counselor)
2007 Awake Dr. Jack Harper
2007 Perfect Holiday, TheThe Perfect Holiday Mr. Bah Humbug
2008 Iron Man USAF Lt. Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes Nominated—Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actor
2008 Phillies World Series Champions DVD Narrator
2009 Fighting Harvey Boarden
2009 Princess and the Frog, TheThe Princess and the Frog James Voice role
2011 Little Murder Drag Hammerman
2011 Ledge, TheThe Ledge Hollis Lucetti
2011 Winnie Mandela Nelson Mandela
2012 Red Tails Col. A.J. Bullard
2012 On The Road Walter
2012 The Company You Keep Cornelius
2013 Movie 43 Coach Jackson Segment "Victory's Glory"
2013 Dead Man Down Alphonse Hoyt
2013 The Butler Howard
2013 Prisoners Franklin Birch
2013 The Best Man Holiday Quentin Spivey
2014 Sabotage Julius "Sugar" Edmonds
2014 Lullaby Dr. Crier
2014 In The Woods Filming

Television films

Year Title Role Other notes
1992 Jacksons: An American Dream, TheThe Jacksons: An American Dream Jackie Jackson
1993 Tall Hopes Chester Harris
1995 O.J. Simpson Story, TheThe O.J. Simpson Story Young A.C.
1996-98 Sparks Greg Sparks
2000 King of the World Cassius Clay
2001 Boycott Ralph Abernathy Black Reel Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
2005 Their Eyes Were Watching God Amos Hicks


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Family Matters Johnny 1 episode
1994 Living Single Brendan King
1994 Coach Johnny Williams
1995 New York Undercover Buster Goings
2010-11 Law & Order: LA Senior D.D.A. Jonah "Joe" Dekker
2011 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Senior D.D.A. Jonah "Joe" Dekker Episode "Reparations"
2012 Hawaii Five-0 Billy Episode "I Ka Wa Mamua"
2015 Empire Lucious Lyon Series lead
2015 Wayward Pines Sheriff Pope Series regular

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2008 Iron Man USAF Lt. Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes Voice role



  1. ^ "Monitor".  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Koltnow, Barry (March 22, 2007). "A star emerges: Terrence Howard is finally in the spotlight". PopMatters. Retrieved March 22, 2007. 
  3. ^ "People: Johnny Depp passes Will Smith as top-earning actor". Denver Post. September 26, 2008. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d e Cohen, Sandy (March 22, 2007). "Terrence Howard tries on more leading roles, a music career". Akron Beacon Journal. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved March 22, 2007. 
  6. ^ Haynes, Monica (September 27, 2008). "Obituary: Anita Williams / Mother of actor, recruiter at Pitt". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  7. ^ "Howard Still Haunted By Racist Fight In Santa Line". October 8, 2005. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  8. ^ Terrence Howard: 'Iron Man' responsible for 'killing my career' - NBC
  9. ^ Thomson, Katherine (October 26, 2008). "Terrence Howard Sued For Alleged Beat Down". Huffington Post. 
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (July 30, 2010). "'"Terrence Howard To Join 'Law & Order: LA. 
  11. ^ "Howard Bought Ex-wife Her Dream Home In A Bid To Win Her Back".  
  12. ^ Husband, Stuart (May 18, 2008). "Damn right I'm difficult". The Guardian (London). Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  13. ^ NPR: Terrence Howard: 'I Would Be a Witness'
  14. ^ Terence Howard welcomes granddaughter
  15. ^ "Terrence Howard Leads The Showtime Marching Band at Homecoming". 
  16. ^ a b Huber, Jeff (April 12, 2103). "Terrence Howard Isn't A Doctor, He Just Plays One On TV". Chemical & Engineering News: Blog. 
  17. ^ "Hustle & Flow : An Interview with Terrence D. Howard and Producer Stephanie Allain". 
  18. ^ "Academics".  
  19. ^
  20. ^ Howard expecting third child
  21. ^ "Terrence Howard's Fists Of Fury", The Smoking Gun February 17, 2009, Retrieved August 3, 2010
  22. ^ "Martial Arts Expert Challenges Chris Brown to a Fight". Fox News. February 18, 2009. 
  23. ^ "MUG SHOTS: Terrence Howard '00", The Smoking Gun August 1, 2000, Retrieved April 26, 2010
  24. ^ Oprah Winfrey The Butler Co-Star Terrence Howard Punched Woman In Diner
  25. ^ "Terrance Howard Biography". Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  26. ^ Shine Through It' Review"'". Retrieved April 9, 2011. 

External links

  • Terrence Howard at the Internet Movie Database
  • Terrence Howard at the Internet Broadway Database
  • Terrence Howard UK music website
  • Artist of the Month: Terrence Howard at Hyena Productions
  • All African-American production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof website
  • Terrence Howard interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' September 2008
  • Howard interview, August 2005,
  • Howard interview, July 2005, New York Metro
  • Howard interview, May 2005,
  • Terrence Howard interview on the Tavis Smiley show
  • 2007 NPR interview, "Terrence Howard: 'I Would Be a Witness'"
  • The Observer, May 18, 2008Damn right I'm difficult (Interview),Stuart Husband,
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