History was indeed made last night when actor Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor at the 89th Oscars. Ali is the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award.
Ali, whose full name is Mahershalalhashbaz, was born on February 16, 1974. Ali was raised in Hayward, California. Ali’s mother was an ordained minister while his father appeared in Broadway. Ali attended St. Mary’s College of California where he earned his degree in mass communications.
In 2000, Ali earned his master’s at New York University’s graduate acting program as he developed a keen eye for acting.
Ali received his first role as Richard Tyler in science-fiction series The 4400.
Many have known Ali as Remy Denton in the Netflix Original Series House of Cards and Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes in Luke Cage.
In 2016, Ali played Juan, a Cuban immigrant Miami drug dealer in the Oscar Winning Motion Picture Moonlight.
February has also been good to Ali. Aside from winning his very first Oscar, Ali and his wife, Amatus-Sami Karim, welcomed their first child together, Bari Najma.