Terrence Dashon Howard
Birth Date:
March 11, 1969
Birth Place:
Chicago, Illinois, USA
6' 2
Famous for:
His role in 'Mr.Holland's Opus' (1995)
Pratt Institute (studied chemical engineering)
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Hustle & Flow


Actor Terrence Dashon Howard was widely praised after starring as pimp-turned-rapper Djay in Craig Brewer’s Hustle & Flow (2005). He soon harvested a Satellite Award, a Black Movie Award, a Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award, a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, a National Board of Review Award and a Florida Film Critics Circle Award (the latter two were also for his acting in the 2004 Crash and the 2005 Get Rich or Die Tryin’). In addition, the actor brought in an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild nomination.

After winning praise with his turn as troublemaker Quentin in The Best Man (1999, netted an Image Award), Howard attracted audiences through such roles as Ralph Abernathy in the TV drama Boycott (2001, nabbed a Black Reel Award), Gossie McKee in the acclaimed Ray (2004, earned a Screen Actors Guild nomination) and Bill Crosby in the TV drama Lackawanna Blues (2005, took home an Image Award). Meanwhile, his portrayal of Cameron Thayer in Crash (2004) also won a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award.

Outside his gleaming career in Hollywood, Howard is a self-taught piano and guitar player. He also appeared in Ashanti’s “Foolish” (2002) and Mary J. Blige’s “Be Without You” (2005) music videos. In August 2000, the performer made headlines with his overnight arrest due to an alleged assault on a flight attendant, where he grabbed the attendant’s wrist and yelled at her on the plane.

Howard was once married and re-married to Lori McCommas, with whom he shares three children. He was then rumored to have a relationship with former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres and Hustle & Flow (2005) co-star Taraji P. Henson, but the gossip was constantly denied.

Father Behind Bars

Childhood and Family:

Terrence Dashon Howard was born on March 11, 1969, in Chicago, Illinois. At age 3, he witnessed his father, Tyrone Howard, imprisoned for “The Santa Line Slaying,” a widely publicized incident in which a racist threatened and choked Tyrone, forcing him to stab the man in self-defense.

When he was 19, Terrence, who sometimes spent summers with his actress grandmother, Minnie Gentry, headed to New York City to be an actor. After being discovered by a casting director, the graduate of the Pratt Institute (majored in Chemical Engineering) soon landed a screen role.

In 1989, Terrence married Lori McCommas. The couple with 3 children divorced in 2003 and re-married in February 2005. However, Terrence and Lori have since separated again.

Refusing to dwell in the Big Apple, the actor currently lives in Pennsylvania. On his decision, Howard reasoned, “I love trees. [There is] too much concrete in New York; too many big people. I don’t do well with big, important people. Besides, until I start making money, I’m strictly McDonald’s.”



Terrence Dashon Howard made his TV debut in an episode of the family sitcom “The Cosby Show,” although Cosby finally cut his scenes. Howard later acquired the role of Jackie Jackson in the Emmy-winning TV biopic The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992). He also had the regular role of 16-year old Chester Harris in the short-lived series “Tall Hopes” (1993) and landed a few guest spots in various TV shows, including the sitcom “Family Matters” (1994, as John).

A year later, Howard was seen on the silver screen with the supporting part of Louis Russ in the Oscar-nominated drama Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995). The star of the series “Sparks” (1996-1998, as conservative lawyer Greg Sparks) next worked in the action thriller genre with the Heather Locklear-starring Double Tap (1997, played Ulysses) and Butter (1998, had the featured role of Dexter Banks).

Howard’s breakthrough came in 1999 when he joined director/screenwriter Malcolm D. Lee in his dramatic comedy The Best Man (1999). For his impressive performance, the rising actor netted an Image award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, as well as a Black Reel nomination. Howard, who portrayed the boxing legend Cassius Clay in the biopic King of the World (2000, TV), made a producing effort with the drama Love Beat the Hell Outta Me (2000, also starred as Chris).

Thanks to his convincing acting as Ralph Abernathy in the drama Boycott (2001, TV), Howard nabbed a Black Reel award for Network/Cable Best Supporting Actor and an Image nomination. The actor then acted alongside Colin Farrell and Bruce Willis in the military-themed drama Hart’s War (2002) and guest starred as Benny Jones in the series “Soul Food” (2003).

2004 saw Howard cast as Gossie McKee in the award-winning biopic Ray (2004) and nominated for a Screen Actors Guild’s Best Ensemble. Furthermore, he collected a number of awards after skillfully playing Cameron Thayer in Paul Haggis’ ensemble movie about racial tension, Crash (2004). He won a Screen Actors Guild, a Vancouver Film Critics Circle award, a National Board of Review and a Florida Film Critics Circle award.

Howard was then applauded for his starring turn as Djay, a middle-aged pimp trying to be a rapper, in the Craig Brewer-directed Hustle & Flow (2005). Before long, he won a Satellite award, a Black Movie award and a Washington DC Area Film Critics Association award for Best Actor, as well as a Broadcast Film Critics Association award for Best Song, a National Board of Review and a Florida Film Critics Circle award (the latter two were tied with his acting in the 2004 Crash). In addition, the actor brought in an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild nomination.

The same year, Howard carried out the Image award-winning role of Bill Crosby in the fact-based TV drama Lackawanna Blues (2005, also earned a Black Reel nomination), adapted from Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s play. He was also seen as Bama, opposite rapper 50 Cent, in Jim Sheridan’s urban drama Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005, shared the National Board of Review and the Florida Film Critics Circle award with Crash and Hustle & Flow).

After costarring with Outkast’s André Benjamin and Big Boi in Idlewild (2006, as Trumpy), Howard will play Mr. Bah Humbug in Lance Rivera’s holiday movie Perfect Christmas (2006). He will also appear in the psychological thriller Awake (2006, along with Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba) and take the turn of DiamondBack in John Singleton’s superhero movie Luke Cage (2006), whose script is being re-drafted.

Next up for Howard, he will join Jodie Foster in the revenge thriller The Brave One (2007), take on the featured role of Jim Ellis in the drama about an amateur swim team, Pride (2007), and work on the family drama August Rush (2007, as Richard Jeffries). Also in 2007, the actor is set to accept roles in the adventure comedy Spring Break in Bosnia (2007) and the adaptation of Jack Greenberg’s book, The Crusaders (2007, as Thurgood Marshall).

It is also announced that Howard will resume his acting journey in an adaptation of a comic book titled Iron Man (2008, will star as Jim Rhodes/War Machine). The fantasy adventure movie, directed by Jon Favreau, will begin its production in January 2007.


  • Image: for Outstanding Actor in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special, Lackawanna Blues, 2006
  • Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, Crash, 2006
  • Vancouver Film Critics Circle: Best Supporting Actor, Crash, 2006
  • Broadcast Film Critics Association: Best Song, “Hustle & Flow,” Hustle & Flow, 2006
  • Satellite: Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical, Hustle & Flow, 2005
  • National Board of Review: Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actor, Crash, also for Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and Hustle & Flow, 2005
  • Florida Film Critics Circle: Pauline Kael Breakout Award, Crash, also for Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and Hustle & Flow, 2005
  • Black Movie: Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Hustle & Flow, 2005
  • Washington DC Area Film Critics Association: Best Breakthrough Performance, Hustle & Flow, 2005
  • Los Angeles Film Critics Association: New Generation Award, 2005
  • Black Reel: Network/Cable - Best Supporting Actor, Boycott, 2001
  • Image: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, The Best Man, 2000

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