Mahershala Ali (born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore) is an American actor and rapper. In a career spanning two decades, he has received multiple 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 23rd 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 role 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 in House of Cards, for which he received his first Primetime Emmy Award nomination. 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). He is the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, the first Black actor to win two Academy Awards in the same category, and the second Black actor to win multiple acting Oscars.In 2019, he played 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 was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards for both performances. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) media franchise, Ali portrayed crime boss Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes in the Netflix series Luke Cage (2016–2018), and voiced vampire hunter Blade in the feature film Eternals (2021), ahead of starring as the character in his own stand-alone film: Blade (2023). Ali also voiced Aaron Davis / Prowler in the animated Spider-Verse film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018).