Terrence Dashon Howard, Actor and Singer   3 comments


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, 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 his roles in movies includes Winnie, Ray, Lackawanna Blues, Crash, Four Brothers, Hustle & Flow, 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 adaption.

His debut album, Shine Through It, heavily inspired by popular soul singers such as Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, was released in September 2008.


 Early life

Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania called Monroeville, Pennsylvania, the son of Anita Williams (née Hawkins) and Tyrone Howard.[1][2] His maternal great-grandmother, Minnie Gentry, was a stage actress, as were his mother and uncles.[3][4] Both of his parents were biracial, of African American and European American descent; he experienced racism throughout his childhood. His father was involved in what has been termed the Santa Line Slaying, serving 11 months in prison on manslaughter charges after stabbing another man.[1] 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.[1] He wanted to be a science teacher,[3] 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.[1] 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.[1] Though he did not obtain a degree,[1][5] Howard claims to be an engineer.[6] Howard had a principal role in a short-lived CBS sitcom, Tall Hopes.


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.[3]

Howard has stated that he looks for characters that “teach him about himself” when choosing his film roles.[3] 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.

In 2008, he made his Broadway debut, playing Brick in an all-African-American production of Tennessee WilliamsCat on a Hot Tin Roof, directed by Debbie Allen and also starring James Earl Jones (Big Daddy), Phylicia Rashad (Big Mama) and Anika Noni Rose (Maggie). During rehearsals he allegedly attacked and seriously injured musical composer Tex Allen, 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.[7]

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.[8]

In 2011, Howard will play Nelson Mandela in Winnie alongside Jennifer Hudson.

 Personal life

Howard, who lives outside Philadelphia in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania,[1] was married to Lori McCommas for 14 years.[9] 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 had since noted that Howard was “trying to reunite” with his wife, and that he had stated that he was “chasing after” her.[3] His wife was born Jewish but is raising their children as Jehovah’s Witnesses.[10] In an interview with NPR, he said he wanted to become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses as well.[11]

Terrence 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 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.[12]

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.”[13]

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.[12]


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.[14][15]

For the movie Hustle and 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.


Posted March 1, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in Uncategorized

3 responses to “Terrence Dashon Howard, Actor and Singer

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  1. Your blog has to be about the only one that I have been able to read and get my daily education on our black leaders, role-models and entrepreneurs. And the sad part is, we just ended February but yet, I heard nothing about black history! Thanks for keeping me well in tune with our voices of America!


    • hey what’s up Mz. Bambi, first of all, how do you do it? How do you? How can you everyday get up and post the deepest and most profound thoughts and your words speak. They flow evenly, I’m on blogging for the first time, and I just cannot believe your talent. Me, I’m a composition writer, stick to facts, throw some humor in there freestyle and that’s the extent of it. I don’t know where you draw that from, there’s something in you that is astonishingly beautiful. I admire that.

      Second, now thank your stars above, because for once, and although done out of defiance and anger, there is a place for parents, childrens, and teachers to go every day to teach children about African American history. Life isn’t all about Europe and to tell you the truth, I find them kind of boring. I’ve studied this subject my entire life and I was never left without more and more questions, it was like a storybook, every autobiography I read was a piece to a big puzzle and all I kept thinking was “when will the ANGER come”, the Fight!!!

      Martin Luther King was the piece of the puzzle that surprised me and still does. I wonder, how did he know that the only way to overcome the revolution for the freedom of rights was through peace. I’ll find it a mystery the rest of my life. In other words, he surrendored his anger and humanity in exchange for the higher good and only one thing I know is perfect in my life, and that was the teachings of Martin Luther King. That’s enough for me.

      Peace out sister,

    • Mz Bambi, thank you for all the help you have given me, accepting me as your friend and all, any friends you send my way would be greatly appreciated, and I look forward to your next blog. kindly, penny

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