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 42)
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 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. His other notable films include Predators and The Place Beyond the Pines. He played a major role in Free State of Jones, set during and after the American Civil War.

Ali is most well known for his recent roles as Remy Danton in House of Cards and Boggs in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and its sequel, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.

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, 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 enrolled in 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.

Personal life[edit]

Ali has a pet cat that he named Nas, after the musician of the same name.[3]



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 Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
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
2016 Moonlight Juan
2016 Kicks Marlon
2016 Gubagude Ko Ochoro Short film
2016 Free State of Jones Moses Washington
2017 Hidden Figures Jim Johnson Post-production


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
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
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
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
2016 Luke Cage Cornell 'Cottonmouth' Stokes Upcoming series


External links[edit]