Katherine Johnson, Played By Taraji P Henson In Hidden Figures Is Still Happily Married To Husband Col. Jim Johnson, The Couple Is In Their 90s And Living In Virginia.
The inspirational film Hidden Figures, which won a Screen Actors Guild Award last night, is based on the story of three female African-American mathematicians working for NASA during the turbulent civil rights era of the 1960s.
In the film, the main character Katherine Johnson, played by Taraji P Henson, is enamored with a young army Lieutenant named Jim.
Off the screen, the real life Katherine Johnson, now 98, and Corporal Jim Johnson, 91, eventually married, and are still alive to this day – residing in Hampton, Virginia where the film is set.
Katherine Johnson, who received a medal of honor from President Obama in 2015, reportedly loved the movie and said the young women did a good job of representing her and her fellow computers, according to the LA Times.
Colonel Jim Johnson, Katherine’s film love interest, was played by Mahershala Ali, who also won a SAGA last night for his performance in Moonlight.
Mrs Johnson was a mathematician and physicist who worked to calculate the trajectories of spacecrafts, and was instrumental in the launches Project Mercury, Apollo 11, and the Space Shuttle Program.
From her first marriage to James Goble in 1939, she had three daughters: Joylette, Katherine, and Constance.
Goble passed away in 1956 from a brain tumor. In 1959, the year after the National Advisory Committee for Aeuronautics was renamed to NASA, she married Jim Johnson.
Now in their nineties, they still live in Hampton, Virginia, where Katherine originally moved to join the Langley Research Center as a ‘computer’ in 1953.
Hidden Figures won the Screen Actors Guild award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture.
During her acceptance speech, Taraji P Henson said: ‘This film is about unity,’
‘The shoulders of the women that we stand on are three American heroes: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Without them, we would not know how to reach the stars.’
‘This story is about what happens when we put our difference aside and we come together as a human race,’ she concluded.
‘They are hidden figures no more!’
Mrs Johnson’s fellow computers were Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, played by Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, respectively.
Vaughan unfortunately passed away in 2008, and Mary Jackson died in 2005, both unable to see their legacy grace the big screen.
Henson, however, had the opportunity to sit down with the inspiration for her role, and speak with her about her experiences working in the segregated South in a male dominated industry.
She said she felt a significant amount of pressure honoring the influence of someone who was still living.
‘I owe her all my truth and all of me,’ she told The Hollywood Reporter.
The majority of the film was true to reality, though some characters were created to aid in the movie production of the story.
Kevin Costner’s character Al Harrison is one such instance, though NASA reported that he is loosely based on Robert C Gilruth, the architect of Manned Space Flight.
Vivian Michael, played by Kirsten Dunst, was also fictional and created for the screenplay, but is intended to represent the oppositional forces of white women in the 1960s.
SOURCE: ANNA HOPKINS FOR DAILYMAIL.COM