Mahershala Ali Biography, Age, Wife, Ali Piano, Oscar, Movies and Basketball

Mahershala Ali Biography

Mahershala Ali born (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali) is an American actor who is the recipient of several awards, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.

Mahershala Ali Age

Ali was born on February 16th, 1974, in Oakland, California. He is 44 years old as of 2018.

Mahershala Ali Family

He was born the son of Willicia (mother) and Phillip Gilmore (father) who was was an actor who appeared on Broadway. He was raised in Hayward, California. He was named after Maher-shalal-hash-baz, a biblical prophetic-name child, and raised a Christian by his mother, who was an ordained minister.

He later got converted to Islam in 2000 thus changing his surname from Gilmore to Ali, and he joined the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community a revivalist movement within Islam; in interviews, he has recounted problems he has encountered at airports, with banks, and otherwise in everyday life as an American Muslim since the September 11 attacks.

Mahershala Ali Wife

He is married to Amatus Sami-Karim an artist in her own right and enjoys a wide range of artistic pursuits including music and acting with some impressive creations in those areas such as her EP Broken Compass. The pair met in NYU and has been together ever since they wedded in 2013.

Mahershala Ali Children

The pair welcomed their first child, a daughter named Bari Najma on 22nd February 22nd, of 2017.

Mahershala Ali Education

He got enrolled at St. Mary’s College of California. While there, he began participating in poetry slams and appeared in a production of the play Spunk (based on stories by Zora Neale Hurston). He then got enrolled in New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (M.F.A., 2000).

Mahershala Ali Career

Mahershala Ali’s began her career on the small screen where he scored several roles as a regular on series such as Crossing Jordan (2004) and Threat Matrix of 2003 to 2004 and also other minor roles. He became popular in 2004 when he was featured in the sci-fi series The 4400 (2004-2007) as Richard Tyler. This then followed by his silver screen breakthrough in the 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as Tizzy alongside Brad Pitt.

Mahershala Ali Photo

His got credited include his role as Colonel Boggs in The Hunger Games franchise joining Jennifer Lawrence on set, Mombossa in Predator, Moses Washington in the Free State of Jones. He as well starred in the box office success Hidden Figures as Jim Johnson with Taraji P Henson, Nathan Clay in Alphas, Kofi in The Place Beyond the Pines, Cornell Stokes in Marvel’s Luke Cage.

For his portrayal of Calvin Willis in The Wronged Man he received an NAACP nomination and in the Netflix series House of Cards as Remy Danton co-starring Kevin Spacey, he earned an Emmy nomination. He is set to star in the forthcoming season of True Detective as Arkansas State Police detective Wayne Hays.

Although him having recorded huge successes in his career over the years and having performed to generate the most buzz yet would he played his role as drug dealer and mentor, Juan in the 2016 film, Moonlight. His performance was acknowledged with wide critical acclaim and a number of nominations.

He then earned an Academy Award for having been the Best Supporting Actor at the 89th Academy Awards making him the first Muslim to receiving an Oscar. additionally, he as well earned the SAG Award and the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor and received a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award nomination.

Ali is prominent in the hip-hop community and also a rapper. He was signed to Bay Area recording label Hieroglyphics Imperium during the late 2000s under the stage name Prince Ali. His debut album, Curb Side Service was released in 2007 after which he decided to focus on acting. He also finds a connection between music and acting. He as well makes a mixtape for every major role he takes on to give his character a soundtrack.

Mahershala Ali Net worth

Mahershala has an estimated net worth of $8 million.

Mahershala Ali Piano

Mahershala Ali learned on how to play the piano for his role in Green Book, a film about classical pianist Don Shirley on a concert tour through the deep south. | TIFF 18

Mahershala Ali True Detective

He played the role of Wayne David Hays, He is featured as is a fictional character in the third season of the anthology crime drama television series True Detective on HBO. The character was created by series creator Nic Pizzolatto.

Mahershala Ali House Of Cards

He is featured as (Remy Danton) as the former Chief of Staff for President Frank Underwood. Previously, he as well worked for Frank on Capitol Hill while he then served as House Majority Whip. Following that he was also a partner at the lobbyist firm of Glendon Hill where his main responsibility is as a Washington lobbyist for SanCorp, a natural gas company.

Mahershala Ali Green Book

‘Green Book is a feel-good movie, but its take on 1960s race relations in the U.S. is simplistic kitsch At the start of “Green Book,” the first picture directed byPeter Farrelly without his brother, Bobby, we learn that the film was inspired by a true story. The use of the word “inspired” rather than “based on” means that we needn’t probe for the historical truth in every detail of the story as it’s told on the screen.

Mahershala Ali Oscar

Marshall’s life changed in more ways than one the week of the 2017 Oscars. Four days before he won best supporting actor for his performance in “Moonlight,” his wife, Amatus-Sami Karim, gave birth to their first child.

“When I won, all I could think about was: I just want to get home,” Ali says, grinning.

It wasn’t just Ali’s soulful, tender performance as a drug dealer in Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” that illuminated Ali to audiences. It was his incredible poise through awards season, where he became the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar. At the Screen Actors Guild Awards, during the outcry over Donald Trump’s ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries, he eloquently spoke about “Moonlight” and acceptance: “We see what happens when you persecute people. They fold into themselves.”

Mahershala Ali Moonlight

He has featured in ” Moonlight” a look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young black man growing up in Miami. His epic journey to manhood is guided by the kindness, support, and love of the community that helps raise him.

Mahershala Ali Basketball | Mahershala Ali Oscar

Mahershala history by becoming the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar. Less significantly, he as well became the first former Division-I basketball player to win. If you’re thinking, “Wait for a second, Denzel Washington looked pretty good in He Got Game,” he never made it above JV during his time at Fordham.

Ali before converting to Islam in 2000, which might explain why his basketball career hasn’t been well publicized. But sure enough, Ali attended St. Mary’s (CA) on a basketball scholarship and played four varsity seasons as a guard.

Mahershala Ali Films | Movies





Alita: Battle Angel



Green Book

Don Shirley

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Aaron Davis / The Prowler


Roxanne Roxanne





Gubagude Ko


Free State of Jones

Moses Washington



Hidden Figures

Jim Johnson


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2




Deputy Rivers

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1



Go for Sisters



The Place Beyond the Pines

Kofi Kancam





Crossing Over

Detective Strickland


Umi’s Heart


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Tizzy Weathers


Making Revolution

Mac Laslow


Mahershala Ali Tv Shows





True Detective

Wayne Hays


Room 104



Comrade Detective



Marvel’s Luke Cage

Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes


House of Cards

Remy Danton



Clarence Montgomery



Anthony King



Nathan Clay


Lights Out

Death Row Reynolds


The Wronged Man

Calvin Willis

All Signs of Death



Lie to Me

Det. Don Hughes

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Mark Foster


The 4400

Richard Tyler


Threat Matrix

Jelani Harper


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Tombs’ Security Guard

The Handler




Alex Dalcour


Rashard Coleman


Crossing Jordan

Dr. Trey Sanders

Mahershala Ali Instagram

Mahershala Ali Twitter

Mahershala Ali Facebook

Mahershala Ali: Award Acceptance Speech | 25th Annual SAG Awards | TNT

Mahershala Ali News

Mahershala Ali Pays Tribute to Green Book Costar Viggo Mortensen in SAG Award Win: ‘You Make Me Better’

“Viggo, it’s been an honor going on this journey with you. Such a beautiful actor and person,” Mahershala Ali said in his acceptance speech. “You make me better”

Congrats are in order for Mahershala Ali!

He took home the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role for Green Book. 

“SAG, thank you for this. Timothée [Chalamet], Adam [Driver], Richard [E. Grant], Sam [Elliott] — thank you for your work,” Ali said, acknowledging the other actors in his category. “The more I’m fortunate and blessed to do this work, the more I realize how much I need all of you in this room to get my inspirations from. Viggo, it’s been an honor going on this journey with you. Such a beautiful actor and person. You make me better.”

Ai, 44, also thanked his wife Amatus Sami-Karim and their 23-month-old daughter Bari Najma.

The movie tells the story of Dr. Don Shirley, a black jazz pianist on tour in the 1960s Deep South portrayed by Ali, and his driver Tony Lip, played by Mortensen.

Ali has already received plenty of accolades for his supporting performance, including a BAFTA nomination and an Academy Award nomination, both of which are pending — and he already took home the Golden Globe earlier this month.

During his acceptance speech, he thanked his fellow nominees and his costar.

“Viggo, you are an extraordinary scene partner,” Ali said. “You pushed me every day, no days off. Even the days off weren’t days off. Thank you, brother, I love you.”

In the past, the actor has won a SAG Award for his role in Moonlight and as part of the Hidden Figures cast. He also won the Oscar for the Barry Jenkins-directed film.

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Mahershala Ali Interview

Mahershala Ali Discusses ‘Green Book,’ Working With Viggo Mortensen, & ‘True Detective’ Season 3 [Interview]

Set in the early 1960s, the drama centers on Frank (Viggo Mortensen), a New York bouncer who is hired to drive and protect a famous pianist, Don Shirley (Ali), on a tour of cities in the deep south.  The true story’s title comes from the name of the guide which provides safe lodging in highly segregated cities.  Frank and Don’s relationship is cold at first, but a series of experiences on the trip form what became a lifelong bond.  Ali does a wonderful job of channeling Shirley’s creativity and simmering anger at the systematic racism his performances are attempting to make a statement against.

Ali jumped on the phone a few weeks ago to discuss his portrayal of Shirley and give a little hint about how the latest iteration of “True Detective” will forge its own identity.

The Playlist: I know you’ve already been asked this question three thousand times, but what made you want to take this role?
Mahershala Ali: Three thousand and one, now. [Laughs.] No, I’m kidding. No, you know what? I like that question, honestly. I think Don Shirley is somebody who we haven’t seen on screen. And just reading the script, I really feel like he just jumped off the page to me. He just is such a dynamic and complicated person and character. I really wanted to sign up for the responsibility of bringing that character to life. It was something that scared me. It made me nervous, like, several elements that were required in bringing that character to life. And usually, when I feel that way, I know that’s the direction to go. I feel like that’s always where the direction of growth is, for me. Just as an actor and artist.

I talked to Viggo a few weeks ago and he said that when he got the script he also was nervous about it. And it took him a couple days to agree to do it. Did the fact he’d already come on board make your decision easier?
It definitely made my decision easier, but honestly, if you’ve read that film from the jump I would have signed up for it anyway. Unless they had made some strange choice in the casting for Tony Vallelonga, I would have stayed onboard for it. But the fact that Viggo was cast in it first made my decision much easier. And it also allowed me to imagine Tony Vallelonga while I was reading the script, which always makes a difference. When you have a sense of how something is cast, you can imagine yourself in the part, and you don’t have to do as much work imagining the other character, as you’re, you know, getting to know the story and the characters.

Viggo also had Tony’s son and family to provide him with more backstory. Did you have anyone who could provide the same sort of first-person accounts for Don?
I just approached it really different. And honestly, even though he’s deceased I had more information working on Don Shirley than I had with any other part I’ve ever done. He appeared in a documentary, “Lost Bohemia,” about the artists that lived on top of Carnegie Hall. And so, I could kind of get a sense of his behavior and tensions. I got a sense of his rhythms and how he spoke and how he would gesture. And I got to see him play the piano a little bit. So, I pulled a lot from that. And he doesn’t appear in it long, but long enough for me to sort of get a glimpse at the essence of the man. And I really spent quite a bit of time with his music and listened to his music basically every day. And the little bit that I could read on him. I heard some audiotapes, on Nick Vallelonga speaking about their relationship and that journey. And even heard some, later on, heard some audio recordings of Don Shirley as well, speaking about the experience.

The chemistry you and Viggo share on screen is key for the film to work. Did you guys hang out beforehand? Was there a good amount of rehearsal?
I don’t know. That’s the hardest question to answer. Because if there’s an answer to it, then I think more people would do it. You know, because films definitely all benefit from chemistry. I think we just had a lot of love and respect and admiration for each other. I think we listened to each other. We rooted for each other. I think our approach to the work is really similar. Viggo has more experience than I do and has been, you know, carrying this type of load much longer than I have if you look at his career. But he always treated and approached me as an equal. And I always had equal input to him. And we wanted each other to win. We wanted each other to succeed. And I think that’s always a good thing for chemistry and love. And we still have that, to this day. And Pete played a big part in that, as well. From his opening the doors, creatively, of the set before we shot one take. He says to the entire cast and crew, “Anybody has a better idea or see something that they think is problematic or not right, please, by all means, speak up. Let me know. I don’t know everything. I want to make a great movie. And we all have a place and a voice.” And I kid you not, Pete said that the first day of filming. Never seen that in my life. And I think that set the tone for what was to be a really extraordinary experience.

The movie has won the Toronto People’s Choice Award and I know that it’s gotten incredible reactions at other festivals around the world. And everyone I know in the industry who’s seen it loves it. I actually can’t find anyone who doesn’t which is a huge compliment. You’ve been part of a movie previously, “Moonlight,” that meant so much to people. Do you feel anything similar in what you’re experiencing in terms of what you get the feedback for “Green Book”?
Good films are good films. Regardless of genre or director or aesthetic. You know, I think that for what “Green Book” is, it’s a really good film. For what “Moonlight” is, it’s an extraordinary film. And I think the comparisons sort of stop there. But I’m glad that people are able to look at the film and accept it for what it is and enjoy it and get something from it. I’m so glad that people are responding to the direction and the writing and the performances. And that’s all you can do on any movie whether it’s “Wreck-It Ralph” or “If Beale Street Could Talk.” I think you want a great script, you want great direction, and great performances.

Can you just tell me what your experience was like on “True Detective” season 3 and what people can look forward to just in terms of the tone of this season?
That’s a big answer. I think “True Detective” was an extraordinary experience shooting that project. I’m really excited to share it. Nic wrote an amazing season. And one that I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of. I think it’s dark. But I do feel that there is a light and a hope in this season that, I think, goes beyond the other seasons.

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