Happy Birthday to Oscar-nominated and Black Reel Award-winning actor Terrence Howard, who turns 44 today. Since his breakthrough role in The Best Man, Howard has consistently created a portfolio of diverse roles spotlighting his burgeoning talent.
Howard made his acting debut as Jackie Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream, an ABC miniseries. Three years later, Howard got his big film break in 1995’s Mr. Holland’s Opus. His scene-stealing appearance in The Best Man was the film that put the handsome actor on the map and made him an instant sex symbol to his fans.
He continued to cement his status as a rising talent with a series of appearances in several successful films including Crash, Ray and HBO’s Lackawanna Blues. Howard’s turn as a down-out-pimp who aspires to be a rapper netted him both an Oscar nomination and Black Reel Award win for Hustle & Flow.
Howard built on that performance by co-starring in a string of films including Idlewild, Pride, The Brave One, August Rush, Iron Man, Fighting, Winnie, Red Tails and his most recent effort, Dead Man Down. He also featured his skills on Broadway starring as 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 Rashad (Big Mama) and Anika Noni Rose (Maggie).
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. He will also reprise the character of Quentin in the sequel to The Best Man.
Howard has stated that he looks for characters that “teach him about himself” when choosing his film roles. Judging by his variety of roles, it appears that his search continues.
Check out some images of Howard’s work over his career, below: