Taraji P. Henson to guest-star on ‘Abbott Elementary’

Taraji P. Henson to guest-star on ‘Abbott Elementary’


Cookie Lyon is headed to Abbott.

Empire star Taraji P. Henson will guest-star in an upcoming episode of Abbott Elementary as Janine’s (Quinta Brunson) estranged mother Vanetta. Henson shared the news Saturday in a video message recorded for PaleyFest in Los Angeles. She’ll appear in season 2’s penultimate April 12 episode, titled “Mom,” following Ayo Edebiri‘s cameo as Janine’s sister Ayesha earlier this season.

“You already met her sister, so why not make it a family affair?” Henson said. “I can’t share too many details with you, so you’ll have to tune in to ABC April 12, but I can guarantee you that it is going to be a riot.”

She added that she’s been a fan of the Emmy-winning hit sitcom since day one. “I’m so proud of Quinta, and I was excited to join her and the amazing cast.” 

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 08: Taraji P. Henson attends CultureCon NYC 2022 Presented by The Creative Collective NYC at Duggal Greenhouse on October 08, 2022 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images for CultureCon)

Taraji P. Henson

| Credit: Steven Ferdman/Getty for CultureCon

Abbott Elementary returns from its brief hiatus April 5. Henson’s episode will air April 12, with the season finale coming April 19. Other memorable guest stars this season have included Lauren Weedman, Leslie Odom Jr., Orlando Jones, and Keyla Monterroso Mejia.

Following Henson’s big reveal, the show’s official Twitter account shared a behind-the-scenes photo of the star with Brunson.

Along with her Golden Globe–winning role as Cookie Lyon on the Fox drama Empire, Henson’s credits include Hustle & Flow, Hidden Figures, Think Like a Man, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and the animated films Minions: The Rise of Gru and Ralph Breaks the Internet. She’ll next appear in the movie musical adaptation of The Color Purple.

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Abbott Elementary (TV series)

The ABC comedy follows a group of hardworking teachers at an underfunded Philadelphia school.

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