- Received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Drama from the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University (2000).
- The name "Mahershalalhashbaz" is from the Book of Isaiah (chapter 8, verse 3) in the Hebrew Bible. It is the longest proper name (ordered by God to be given to the newborn prophet's son) that appears in the Bible and is, actually, a combination of four words: "Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz", meaning "Hurry to the spoils!" or "He has made haste to the plunder!".
- With his Academy Award win for Best Supporting Actor for the drama film Green Book (2018), Mahershala Ali becomes the first black actor (male or female) to win twice in the supporting category. He is also the second black person (male or female) to win two competitive Oscars for acting--the first being Denzel Washington who won in both the lead and supporting categories.
- His Oscar win for the drama film Moonlight (2016) marked the first time a Muslim actor has won an Academy Award.
- Received his Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications from St. Mary's College in Moraga, California (1996).
- Is a respected rapper in the hip hop community, having collaborated and performed with notable artists such as Talib Kweli, Planet Asia, Keith Murray, and others.
- As of 2019, has appeared in four films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Moonlight (2016), Hidden Figures (2016) and Green Book (2018). Of those, Moonlight (2016) and Green Book (2018) are winners in the category.
- Has always cut his own hair ever since he was 12 years old.
- Is only one of seven actors who have a 2-0 winning record when nominated for an acting Oscar, his two wins for Moonlight (2016) and Green Book (2018). The others are Luise Rainer for The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and The Good Earth (1937); Vivien Leigh for Gone with the Wind (1939) and A Streetcar Named Desire (1951); Helen Hayes for The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931) and Airport (1970); Kevin Spacey for The Usual Suspects (1995) and American Beauty (1999); Hilary Swank for Boys Don't Cry (1999) and Million Dollar Baby (2004); and Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Django Unchained (2012).
- Revealed during his SAG Award speech in 2017 that he is a Muslim and converted to Islam 17 years earlier. He also mentioned in the same speech that his mother is an ordained minister.
- He is the son of Willicia (Goines) and Phillip F. Gilmore. His father has acted and his mother is a Christian minister. Raised a Christian, Ali later converted to Islam.
- Became a father for the first time at age 43 when his wife Amatus Sami-Karim gave birth to their daughter Bari Najma Ali on February 22, 2017.
- One of four multiple acting Oscar winners whose wins are all in Best Picture Oscar winners (the others being Marlon Brando, Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman). Two of Jack Nicholson's three acting Oscars are in Best Picture winners.
- Won his first Academy Award only four days after becoming a father for the first time in February 2017.
- Ali has twice played the father to children with unusual (supernatural) aging issues: as Richard Tyler in The 4400 (2004), his character's daughter, Isabelle, goes from infancy to adulthood in a single episode, and as Tizzy in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), he plays the adoptive father of a child who is born old and ages backwards.
- Mahershala's unsuccessful auditions include The A-Team (2010) (for the role of B.A. Baracus) plus a role he lost out on in Game of Thrones (2011).
- Shares a birthday with his Marvel co-stars Christopher Eccleston and Elizabeth Olsen.
- Born at 11:40 PM (PDT).
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content