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Loretha Cookie Lyon (née Holloway) is a main character on the FOX series, Empire. She is the ex-wife of Lucious Lyon. the mother of Andre, Jamal, and Hakeem Lyon, and the grandmother of Bella Lyon.

She is the co-founder of Empire Entertainment, and returned to take her half of the company after being released from her 17 year prison sentence. She later left Empire, and went on to found her own label, Lyon Dynasty with her son Hakeem. However, she rejoined Empire when it acquired Lyon Dynasty, and is currently the co-CEO as well as the head of A&R for Empire.

Cookie is portrayed by actress, Taraji P. Henson.


Cookie Lyon was born Loretha Holloway, raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has two sisters, one including Carol Hardaway. Growing up, Cookie gradually began working in the drug dealing business, which is where she met, and soon married Lucious Lyon. Before the success of Empire Entertainment, Cookie was a drug dealer who helped Lucious's career become successful. During this time, Cookie and Lucious had three children: Andre, Jamal, and newborn Hakeem. Cookie strove to ensure that her children would get the best out of everything. In the drug dealing business, Cookie's life has revolved around music, money, and dodging the law.

One of Cookie's former accomplices is Frank Gathers. Cookie, meanwhile, contributed to the beginnings of Empire Entertainment, distributing $400,000 worth of drug money to create the company. Because Cookie has been involved in drug dealing gone bad, forcing her to serve 17 years in prison, preventing her from being in her sons' lives. After Lucious becomes distant from Cookie while she is incarcerated, the two eventually get a divorce. Years later, Cookie returns in hopes of taking back what's hers: half of the company and giving her sons' the best success. She is a talented music producer and astute business woman, but her involvement with the FBI jeopardized her chances. After being convinced to testify in court, she puts her life in danger when she tells on Frank Gathers. She has a great ear for the sound and music of the hip generation.


Cookie is an extremely beautiful and outspoken individual who at times can be immature. However, she is also depicted to be very wise who is extremely loyal and supporting to those she loves. She always demands respect including from her children. She will do whatever it take to claimed what is right fully hers and be on top no matter what. She is also a strong, independent, woman who does not tolerate nonsense and likes to take matters into her own hands. She is also very smart and mature and creative and does not fear anybody. She is never afraid to speak her mind toward people. Cookie can also be head strong, sassy and tough. she can be very motherly as well. and she also can be very funny sometimes. 

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