How Terrence Howard came to be 'Lucious Lyon'

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Before he befriended an Avenger, before he discovered that it’s hard out there for a pimp, and before he dominated an empire, Terrence Howard was a kid in Chicago. 

Born in Chicago, but raised in Cleveland, Terrence Howard experienced a rough childhood. He emancipated himself from his parents at the age of 16 and lived off of welfare before moving to New York two years later.

Originally wanting to be a science teacher, he joined his brother on an audition for the Cosby Show and was cast in the role.

After other bit parts in television series, he blew away critics in the films “Dead Presidents” and “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”

In 2004, he became an actor to watch with the Oscar winning film “Crash." And, just one year later, received a Best Actor Oscar nomination himself for his role in “Hustle and Flow,” where he appeared alongside “Empire” co-star Taraji P. Henson.

With a career on the verge of exploding, he entered into the Marvel Universe with Iron Man, and was actually the highest paid actor in the film, though salary disputes for the sequel led to his being placed by Don Cheadle.

Venturing outside of film, he dominated the stage in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” and after a string of supporting roles in critically acclaimed films, landed perhaps the most popular character in his filmography - Lucious Lyon.