Terrence Howard is an American actor known for his roles in such films as Dead Presidents, Mr. Holland's Opus and Hustle & Flow, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.
He also has a starring role as Lucious Lyon, a former drug dealer turned hip hop mogul and the CEO of Empire Entertainment, whose life begins to cave in around him after his past sins come back to haunt him following his being diagnosed with ALS, in the musical drama television series Empire.
Howard's love for acting came naturally, through summers spent with his grandmother, New York stage actress Minnie Gentry.
He later began his acting career on The Cosby Show (1984) after being discovered on a New York City street by a casting director.
Soon, he followed with several notable TV appearances on shows such as Living Single (1993), NYPD Blue (1993) and Soul Food (2000). He became well known for his lead role in the TV series Sparks (1996).
Howard broke onto the big screen with his performance in Mr. Holland's Opus (1995).
His most memorable performances to date are of scene-stealing characters such as Cowboy in the Hughes brother's film Dead Presidents (1995) and as Quentin in Malcolm D. Lee's Independent film The Best Man (1999I).
The latter earning him a NAACP Image Award, Independent Spirit Award nomination and a Chicago Film Critics Award nomination.
A self-taught musician, Howard plays both the piano and the guitar and is a promising songwriter.
In addition to his musical talents, Howard also has a strong interest in science.