Mahershala Ali

Mahershala Ali
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Updated: Oct 28, 2021

Birth Name: Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore

Nickname/Stage Name: Mahershala Ali

Birth Date: February 16, 1974  

Genre: Action, Drama

Occupation: Actor

Years Active: 2001 till Present

Net Worth: $8 million


Personal life

Mahershala Ali was born in 1974 in Oakland, California, to Willicia Goines (born 1957) and Phillip Gilmore (1956–1994). His mother, an ordained Baptist minister, raised him as a Christian in Hayward, California. His father was a Broadway actor. Maher-shalal-hash-baz is the name of a prophetic child in Isaiah chapter 8.

He converted to Islam in 2000 and changed his surname from Gilmore to Ali. Mahershala Ali and Amatus Sami-Karim have been married since 2013. They met when they were both students at New York University and in February 2017, they welcomed their first child, a daughter.


Ali attended St. Mary's College of California (SMC) in Moraga, California, and graduated in 1996 with a degree in Mass Communication.

After taking a year off to work for Gavin Report, he enrolled in New York University's graduate acting program at Tisch School of the Arts, where he earned his master's degree in 2000.


The actor is famous for playing Remy Danton in the Netflix series House of Cards, Cornell Stokes in Marvel's Luke Cage series, and Colonel Boggs in two of the Hunger Games films.

He got his first major role in the 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. His other notable movies include PredatorsThe Place Beyond the PinesFree State of Jones, and Hidden Figures.

Ali received critical acclaim for his performance as mentor and drug addict Juan in the drama Moonlight (2016). He also starred as Police Detective Wayne Hays in the third season of the HBO series True Detective.


Austin Film Critics Association Award (2016)

African-American Film Critics Association Award (2016)

Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award (2016)

Black Reel Award (2016)

Boston Society of Film Critics Award (2016)

Chicago Film Critics Association Award (2016)

Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award (2016)

Gotham Independent Film Award (2016)

London Film Critics Circle Award (2016)

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award (2016)

Mar del Plata International Film Festival Award (2016)

NAACP Image Award (2016)

National Society of Film Critics Award (2016)

New York Film Critics Circle Award (2016)

New York Film Critics Online Award (2016)

Online Film Critics Society Award (2016)

Palm Springs International Film Festival Award (2016)

San Diego Film Critics Society Award (2016)

San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award (2016)

Satellite Award (2016)

St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award (2016)

Toronto Film Critics Association Award (2016)

Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award (2016)

Village Voice Film Poll Award  (2016)

Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award (2016)

Critics' Choice Award (2017, 2018)

Film Independent Spirit Award (2017)

Screen Actors Guild Award (2017, 2019)

BET Award (2017)

Academy Award (2017, 2019)

BAFTA Award (2019)

Golden Globe Award (2019)

Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award (2019)

Primetime Emmy Award (2020)


"Who is that person that comes around and says 'You are okay, you are worthy, you are special?' That makes all the difference in the world for many of us. Those are the people we appreciate the most."

"I have had that same experience where there are several people who have come up in my life at the right time and have made critical contributions to how I see the world and how I see myself."

"Your life, your circumstances change, and you have to continue to grow as a person, and once you have means and opportunity, you have to make different choices to protect what you have."


Is a respected rapper in the hip hop community and has collaborated and performed with the likes of Talib Kweli, Planet Asia, and Keith Murray.

Won his first Academy Award four days after becoming a father for the first time.

He has been the one cutting his hair since he was 12 years old.


Making Revolution (2003)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

Supremacy (2014)

Moonlight (2016)

Green Book (2018)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

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