Mahershala Ali

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Mahershala Ali
Ali at the 2005 Comic-Con International
Born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore
(1974-02-16) February 16, 1974 (age 41)
Oakland, California, U.S.
Other names Mahershala Karim-Ali
Alma mater St. Mary's College of California
Tisch School of the Arts
Occupation Actor
Years active 2001–present

Mahershalalhashbaz Ali (born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore; February 16, 1974), commonly known as Mahershala Ali, is an American actor. Ali began his career as a regular on series such as Crossing Jordan (2001-2002) and Threat Matrix (2003-2004) 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. His other notable films include Predators (2010) and The Place Beyond the Pines (2012).

Ali is mostly known for his current roles as Remy Danton in House of Cards and Boggs in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) and its sequel, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015).

Early life[edit]

Ali was born in Oakland, California. He is named after Maher-shalal-hash-baz. Raised Christian by his mother, he later converted to Islam in 2000, changing his surname from Gilmore to Ali, and joined the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.[1] He attended St. Mary's College of California 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 due to 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 sabbatic year where Ali worked for Gavin Report, he got into the New York University's graduate acting program, earning his master's degree in 2000.[2]


Ali is known for his portrayal of Remy Danton in the Netflix series House of Cards, 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.



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 Det. Strickland
2010 Predators Mombasa
2012 Place Beyond the Pines, TheThe Place Beyond the Pines Kofi
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
2015 Kicks Marlon Post-production
2016 Free State of Jones Moses Washington Post-production
2016 Moonlight Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2001-2002 Crossing Jordan Dr. Trey Sanders Main role
2002 Haunted Alex Dalcour "Abby"
2002 NYPD Blue Rashard Coleman "Das Boots"
2003 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Tombs' Security Guard "Lucky Strike"
2003 Handler, TheThe Handler "Big Stones"
2003-2004 Threat Matrix Jelani Harper Main role
2004-2007 4400, TheThe 4400 Richard Tyler Main role
2009 Lie to Me Det. Don Hughes "Do No Harm"
2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Mark Foster "Unstable"
2010 Wronged Man, TheThe Wronged Man Calvin Willis TV film
2010 All Signs of Death Gabe Unsold TV pilot
2011 Lights Out Death Row Reynolds "Unaired Pilot"
2011-2012 Treme Anthony King Recurring role
2011-2012 Alphas Nathan Clay Recurring role
2012 Alcatraz Clarence Montgomery "Clarence Montgomery"
2013-2015 House of Cards Remy Danton Regular role
2016 Luke Cage Cornell Stokes / Cottonmouth


External links[edit]