Mahershala Ali (born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore) is an American actor and former rapper who is the recipient of several accolades, including two Academy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, a BAFTA award, a Golden Globe Award and a Primetime Emmy Award. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019. In 2020, The New York Times ranked him #23 in its list of the 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century.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 supporting roles in the final two films of The Hunger Games film series, and Netflix series' Luke Cage and House of Cards, receiving his first Primetime Emmy Award nomination for the latter. Ali won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performances as Juan in the drama film Moonlight (2016) and for his portrayal of Dr. Don Shirley in the comedy-drama film Green Book (2018). This made him the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, and 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 and in 2020, he starred in the second season of the Hulu comedy-drama series Ramy. He received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for both performances.