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Taraji P. Henson to play Miss Hannigan in NBC holiday musical 'Annie Live!'

Henson will inject some A-list talent into this new take on the classic Broadway show.
/ Source: TODAY

Taraji P. Henson is bracing for the hard knock life.

The Oscar-nominated actor has been cast as Miss Hannigan in NBC’s upcoming holiday production of “Annie Live!”

“Carol Burnett, who brought Miss Hannigan to life in the classic 1982 movie, is someone I have studied and idolized as far back as I can remember,” Henson said in a statement.

ANNIE, Aileen Quinn, Carol Burnett, 1982
Carol Burnett, right, with Annie, played by Aileen Quinn, in the 1982 movie version of "Annie."Everett Collection

“So when the opportunity came to me to join NBC and this incredible group of producers, I jumped! Carol, I hope to do you proud!”

“When we decided to bring back NBC’s holiday musical tradition, we were looking for something that was critically acclaimed and universally beloved — and while that’s definitely the case with ‘Annie,’ it absolutely applies to Taraji as well,” Susan Rovner, chairman of entertainment content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said in a statement.

“Watching her take on this iconic role will be a thrill that has all the makings of must-watch television.”

“Annie Live!” is scheduled to air Dec. 2 on NBC. A nationwide search for the title character is underway and anyone interested can submit an audition at

“Annie,” based on the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip, is one of the most popular Broadway shows in history, garnering seven Tony Awards, including best musical. It became a movie in 1982, with Burnett in the role of Miss Hannigan, the cruel head of the orphanage where Annie lives. Cameron Diaz played the part in a 2014 remake that also starred Jamie Foxx.