|Mahershala Ali Quick Info|
|Height||6 ft 1½ in|
|Date of Birth||February 16, 1974|
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
Mahershala Ali is an American actor, former rapper, voiceover artist, and producer who has gained global acclaim with his performances in projects like Juan in Moonlight, Don Shirley in Green Book, Dr. Trey Sanders in Crossing Jordan, Richard Tyler in The 4400, Nathan Clay in Alphas, Remy Danton in House of Cards, Tizzy Weathers in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Boggs in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes in Luke Cage, Wayne Hays in True Detective, Cross in Roxanne Roxanne, and Sheikh Ali Malik in Ramy.
Mahershala Karim-Ali, Mahershala, Ali, Hershal Gilmore
Oakland, California, United States
Mahershala Ali went to the St. Mary’s College of California (SMC) in Moraga. He was given admission in the college on a basketball scholarship but he eventually got discouraged about pursuing a career in sports. He graduated from SMC with a degree in mass communication in 1996.
He later got enrolled in an acting program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He graduated in 2000 with an MFA degree.
Actor, Former Rapper, Voiceover Artist, Producer
- Father – Phillip Gilmore (Actor)
- Mother – Willicia Gilmore (Christian Minister)
- Others – Clarence Hugh Gilmore (Paternal Grandfather), Willie Goines (Maternal Grandfather), Evia Mae “Evie” Smith (Maternal Grandmother)
Mahershala Ali has been represented by –
- William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, Talent and Literary Agency, Beverly Hills, California, United States
- Anonymous Content, Talent Management Company, Culver City, California, United States
6 ft 1½ in or 187 cm
85 kg or 187 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Mahershala Ali has dated –
- Amatus-Sami Karim (2000-Present) – Mahershala Ali started going out with music producer Amatus-Sami Karim in 2000. They had met while he was studying for his master’s degree at New York University. And, had started dating soon after. They got married in 2013 in a romantic and intimate wedding ceremony. In February 2017, Amatus-Sami gave birth to a daughter, Bari Najma Ali.
Race / Ethnicity
Mahershala Ali is of African-American descent.
Has a short-trimmed hairstyle and also goes for a bald look.
His body specifications might be –
- Chest – 44 in or 112 cm
- Arms / Biceps – 16 in or 41 cm
- Waist – 34 in or 86 cm
His mother was a Christian minister, who raised him with Christian values. However, as an adult, he converted to Islam and became a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
He converted to Islam after having gone to a mosque with his wife Amatus-Sami Karim and her mother.
Best Known For
- Being cast in the role of Remy Danton in the political thriller TV series, House of Cards
- Having played the leading role of Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes in the Superhero drama TV series, Marvel’s Luke Cage
- His immense performance in the supporting role of mentor Juan in the coming-of-age drama film, Moonlight (2016). His performance in the movie helped him bag an Academy Award for “Best Supporting Actor” while he also received accolades like Screen Actors Guild Award for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” and the Critics’ Choice Award for “Best Movie Supporting Actor”.
- Portraying the character of Dr. Don Shirley, an American classical and jazz pianist and composer, in the 2018 biographical comedy-drama buddy film, Green Book, in which he co-starred alongside Viggo Mortensen and Linda Cardellini. For this role, he won an Academy Award for “Best Supporting Actor”, BAFTA Award for “Best Film Actor in a Supporting Role”, Golden Globe Award for “Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture”, Screen Actors Guild Award for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture”, and many other notable accolades.
As a Singer
In the 2000s, he used to rap under the alias of Prince Ali. He was signed up with the recording label Hieroglyphics Imperium and released his studio album, Curb Side Service, in 2007. However, he soon turned his focus to his acting career.
In 2003, he made his theatrical film debut in the leading role in an independent comedy movie, Making Revolution.
First TV Show
In 2001, Mahershala made his first TV show appearance in the role of Dr. Trey Sanders in the NBC crime drama series, Crossing Jordan.
Mahershala relies on riding his cycle around to keep himself fit. He usually cycles around for an hour or so in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. While he cycles around in the park, he listens to music, which helps him unwind from the stress and burden of his work.
However, in case, it is raining or he has a busy schedule that doesn’t allow him to cycle, he heads to the gym. In the gym, he mostly focuses on cardio. He is very careful about lifting weights as he tends to gain muscle mass and tone rather quickly, and it usually doesn’t look good with the roles he is playing.
As per diet, he avoids eating a lot of red meat. Instead, he eats a lot of fish. He also eats chicken once or twice a week. He also tries to limit the consumption of dairy products. There are occasions when he got decided to eat only vegetarian food for a month or so.
Mahershala Ali Favorite Things
- Food – Granola
Source – Web MD
Mahershala Ali Facts
- His name is pronounced as “mah-HER-shuh-luh Ali”.
- While growing up, he was very much into sports. First, he was into BMX racing, and then, he got into basketball, which he played until his college days.
- He decided to leave the popular TV show House of Cards after having appeared in four seasons because he felt that his character had said all there was to say and couldn’t develop any further in the show.
- When he won an Academy Award for his work in the movie Moonlight, he became the first Muslim actor to have won a prestigious Academy Award.
- His parents took his birth name Mahershalalhashbaz from the Book of Isaiah (chapter 8, verse 3) in the Hebrew Bible. The literal translation of his name is He has made haste to the plunder! or Hurry to the spoils!
- He developed a keen interest in acting after having worked in a stage production of Spunk. His performance in the play helped him win an apprenticeship at the California Shakespeare Theater.
- He was first exposed to acting and theatre through his summer visits to his father, who was working as an actor in New York City.
- While studying at Saint Mary’s College of California, he started writing poetry and regularly used to participate in poetry slams.
- After graduating from Saint Mary’s College of California, he briefly worked at The Gavin Report, which is a record industry publication.
- He has a habit of creating a dedicated mixtape for every major role he takes on. He believes that this helps him make every character unique and understand it better.
- He has a pet cat named Nas, whom he has named after the iconic New York City rapper.
- Since it goes against the religion Islam, Mahershala said in 2020 that he won’t do sex scenes in the films.
Featured Image by Gordon Correll / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0