Katherine Johnson is being remembered by the woman who portrayed her in “Hidden Figures.”
Actress Taraji P. Henson paid tribute to Johnson, the NASA mathematician whose death at the age of 101 was announced on Monday.
Henson posted a black-and-white photo of Johnson on her verified Instagram account, writing in the caption, “Thank you QUEEN #KatherineJohnson for sharing your intelligence, poise, grace and beauty with the world!”
“Because of your hard work little girls EVERYWHERE can dream as big as the MOON!!!,” Henson wrote. “Your legacy will live on FORVER AND EVER!!! You ran so we could fly!!!”
Johnson was part of a group of black women working at NASA that played a crucial role in the early days of spaceflight.
Those women received recognition once the film “Hidden Figures” came out in limited release during the 2016 Christmas season before being widely released in 2017.
Before all of that, Johnson’s work went largely unrecognized. Around the office in the 1960s, she and her colleagues were called “computers in skirts” and worked in a segregated facility.
Johnson, known for her brilliance in math, provided mathematical data for NASA’s first successful space missions, including Alan Shepherd’s 1961 mission and John Glenn’s pioneering orbital spaceflight.
“I will forever be honored to have been apart of bringing your story to life,” Henson wrote in her tribute. “You/your story was hidden and thank GOD you are #hiddennomore.”