Mahershala Ali (; born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore; February 16, 1974) is an American actor and rapper. He is the recipient of several accolades, including two Academy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019. After pursuing an MFA degree from New York University, Ali began his career as a regular on television 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 (2004–2007). His first major film release was in the David Fincher-directed fantasy The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). He gained wider attention for his supporting role in the Netflix political thriller series House of Cards (2013–2016), as Boggs in the final two films of The Hunger Games film series, and as Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes in the Luke Cage series. Ali won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Juan in Barry Jenkins' drama film Moonlight. He won a second Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Don Shirley in the drama film Green Book (2018). This made him the first black actor to win two Academy Awards in the same category. In 2019, he played the lead role of a troubled police officer in the third season of the HBO anthology crime series True Detective.
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