Mahershala Ali (born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore) is an American actor and rapper who 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 #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 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, and the first black actor to win two Academy Awards in the same category.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 Award for both performances. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) multimedia franchise, Ali portrays crime boss Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes in the first season of Luke Cage (2016–2018), and voices dhampiric vampire hunter Blade in the feature film Eternals (2021) ahead of his standalone film.