Mahershala Ali

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Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali (29953410761).jpg
Born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore
(1974-02-16) February 16, 1974 (age 43)
Oakland, California, U.S.
Other names Mahershala Karim-Ali
Alma mater

Saint Mary's College of California

Tisch School of the Arts
Occupation Actor
Years active 2001–present
Spouse(s) Amatus-Sami Karim (m. 2013)
Children 1
Awards See Full list

Mahershalalhashbaz "Mahershala" Ali (/məˈhɜːrʃələ/; Gilmore; February 16, 1974) is an American actor and rapper. Ali began his career as a regular on series such as Crossing Jordan and Threat Matrix before his breakthrough role as Richard Tyler in the science-fiction series The 4400. His first major film release was in the 2008 David Fincher-directed romantic fantasy drama film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and his other notable films include Predators, The Place Beyond the Pines, Free State of Jones, Hidden Figures and as Boggs in The Hunger Games series. Ali is also known for his roles in the Netflix series House of Cards as Remy Danton and as Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes in Luke Cage.

For his performance as mentor Juan in the drama film Moonlight (2016), Ali received universal acclaim from critics and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the SAG Award and the Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor, and received a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award nomination. His win at the 89th Academy Awards made him the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Ali was born in 1974, in Oakland, California, the son of Willicia and Phillip Gilmore, he was raised in Cleveland, Ohio and returned to Oakland when he was fourteen.[2] He is named after Maher-shalal-hash-baz, a biblical prophetic-name child. Raised Christian by his mother, an ordained minister,[3][4] he later converted to Islam, changing his surname from Gilmore to Ali, and joined the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.[5][6][7] His father appeared on Broadway,[3] he attended St. Mary's College of California (SMC) in Moraga, where he graduated in 1996 with a degree in mass communication.

Though Ali entered SMC with a basketball scholarship, he became disenchanted with the idea of a sports career because of the treatment given to the team's athletes. Ali developed an interest in acting, particularly after taking part in a staging of Spunk that later landed him an apprenticeship at the California Shakespeare Theater following graduation. Following a sabbatical year where Ali worked for Gavin Report, he enrolled in New York University's graduate acting program, earning his master's degree in 2000.[2]

Career[edit]

Acting[edit]

Ali in 2010

Ali was known professionally as Mahershalalhashbaz Ali until 2010,[2][8] he is known for his portrayal of Remy Danton in the Netflix series House of Cards, Cornell Stokes in Luke Cage, Colonel Boggs in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, and Tizzy in the 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

His first major film release was in the 2008 David Fincher-directed romantic fantasy drama film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and his other notable films include Predators, The Place Beyond the Pines, Free State of Jones, Hidden Figures, and as Boggs in The Hunger Games series.

For his performance as mentor and drug dealer Juan in the drama film Moonlight (2016), Ali received universal acclaim from critics and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the SAG Award and the Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor, and received a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award nomination. His win at the 89th Academy Awards made him the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar.[1]

Rapping[edit]

Ali was signed to Bay Area recording label Hieroglyphics Imperium during the late 2000s and recorded music as Prince Ali,[9] he released his album, Curb Side Service, in 2007 but did not tour to promote the album focusing instead on acting.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Ali is a Muslim and a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community,[5][7] he is married to Amatus-Sami Karim.[11] He named his cat Nas, after the musician.[3]

On February 22, 2017, he and his wife welcomed their first child, a daughter named Bari Najma.[12]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Curb Side Service (2007)

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2003 Making Revolution Mac Laslow
2008 Umi's Heart Ezra Short film
2008 Curious Case of Benjamin Button, TheThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button Tizzy Weathers
2009 Crossing Over Detective Strickland
2010 Predators Mombasa
2012 Place Beyond the Pines, TheThe Place Beyond the Pines Kofi Kancam
2013 Go for Sisters Dez
2014 Supremacy Deputy Rivers
2014 Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, TheThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Boggs
2015 Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, TheThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 Boggs
2016 Kicks Marlon
2016 Gubagude Ko Ochoro Short film
2016 Free State of Jones Moses Washington
2016 Moonlight Juan
2016 Hidden Figures Jim Johnson
2017 Roxanne Roxanne Cross
2018 Alita: Battle Angel Vector Post-production
2018 Untitled animated Spider-Man film Aaron Davis Voice

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2001–02 Crossing Jordan Dr. Trey Sanders 19 episodes
2002 Haunted Alex Dalcour Episode: "Abby"
2002 NYPD Blue Rashard Coleman Episode: "Das Boots"
2003 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Tombs' Security Guard Episode: "Lucky Strike"
2003 Handler, TheThe Handler N/A Episode: "Big Stones"
2003–04 Threat Matrix Jelani Harper 15 episodes
2004–07 4400, TheThe 4400 Richard Tyler 28 episodes
2009 Lie to Me Det. Don Hughes Episode: "Do No Harm"
2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Mark Foster Episode: "Unstable"
2010 Wronged Man, TheThe Wronged Man Calvin Willis Television film
2010 All Signs of Death Gabe Unsold TV pilot
2011 Lights Out Death Row Reynolds Episode: "Unaired Pilot"
2011–12 Treme Anthony King 6 episodes
2011–12 Alphas Nathan Clay 12 episodes
2012 Alcatraz Clarence Montgomery Episode: "Clarence Montgomery"
2013–16 House of Cards Remy Danton 33 episodes
2016 Luke Cage Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes 7 episodes

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Crum, Maddie (February 26, 2017). "Mahershala Ali Becomes The First Muslim Actor To Win An Oscar". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Ali, Mahershala (October 22, 2011). "Mahershala Ali ('96)". Saint Mary's College of California. Retrieved December 14, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Viera, Bené. "Mahershala Ali Quit House of Cards and Became Marvel’s New Villain". GQ. Archived from the original on January 6, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2017. 
  4. ^ Mic. "Who is Mahershala Ali's wife? How Amatus-Sami Karim helped him convert to Islam". Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Will Mahershala Ali be the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar?". February 21, 2017. Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Moonlight's Mahershala Ali: anti-Islam prejudice 'not a shock' if you have grown up black". Guardian. February 21, 2017. Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "By the Dawns Early Light: Short Stories by American Converts to Islam" (PDF). alislam.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 2, 2013. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  8. ^ Desta, Yohana (October 20, 2016). "Mahershala Ali Is Everywhere—and He’s Only Getting Started". Vanity Fair. Retrieved December 14, 2016. 
  9. ^ "'Moonlight' Oscar-Winner Mahershala Ali Used to Be a Rapper". 
  10. ^ http://hiphopdx.com, HipHopDX -. "Tajai Of Souls Of Mischief Talks Mahershala Ali's Days As A Rapper Signed To Hiero Imperium". Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  11. ^ "Actor Mahershala Ali: Wondering Who is This Actor Married to? Wife, Girlfriend or Gay?". Liverampup. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  12. ^ "Mahershala Ali welcomes first child with wife Amatus Sami-Karim". USA Today. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 

External links[edit]