Mahershala Ali - Biography

Last Modified: Oct 30, 2022

Mahershala Ali
Nick Name: Ali
Profession: Actor, Rapper
Best Known For: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (film), Blade (film)
Salary: Under Review
Net Worth: $12 million

Personal Details

Born on : February 16, 1974 (age 49)
Birth Name /
Full Name:
Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore
Birth Place: Hayward, California, USA
Horoscope: Aquarius
Father's Name: Phillip Gilmore
Mother's Name: Willicia Goines
Siblings: N/A
University: St. Mary's College of California, New York University
Ethnicity: African-American
Nationality: American


Sexual Orientation: Straight
Marital Status: Married
Married Date: June 27, 2013
Wife's Name: Amatus Sami-Karim
Children: 1

Bari Najma Ali (daughter)

Body Measurements

Height: 1.88 meter (6 feet 2 inch)
Weight: 85 kg (187.39 lb)
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Dark Brown
Shoe Size: N/A
Bicep Size: N/A
Chest Size: N/A
Waist Size: N/A

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Who is Mahershala Ali?

Mahershala Ali is an actor, and rapper by profession, and American by nationality. He is best known for starring in The 4400, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, House of Cards, and The Hunger Games.

Mahershala Ali – Bio, Age, Parents, Siblings

Mahershala Ali’s birth took place on February 16, 1974, in Hayward, California, USA. He was born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore to his father Phillip Gilmore, an actor, and his mother Willicia Goines, an ordained Baptist minister. He is yet to share facts on his sibling(s) if he has any.

young Mahershala Ali with his father (Instagram)

Education, Ethnicity

Raised by his mother, Ali graduated from high school. He then attended St. Mary's College of California on a basketball scholarship and graduated in 1996 with a degree in mass communication. 

Later on, he enrolled at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and earned a master's degree in acting in 2000. He converted to Islam in 2000 and changed his name from Gilmore to Ali.

His ethnicity is African-American.

Mahershala Ali - Girlfriend, Wife, Children, Divorce

Mahershala Ali married his longtime girlfriend Amatus Sami-Karim on June 27, 2013. Sami-Karim is also an actress and a musician. The couple had first met while they were in college.

He and his wife welcomed their first child, daughter Bari Najma Ali on 22 February 2017. The couple is raising their daughter best they can and are living without rumors of extra-marital affairs and divorce.

Also read: Tongayi Chirisa - Actor, Singer 

Mahershala Ali, Amatus Sami-Karim in 2017 (Us Weekly)

Mahershala Ali – Career

Early Career

Ali had joined SMC on a basketball scholarship and played for the SMC Gaels. But due to the treatment given to him by his team, he became disenchanted with the idea of a sports career. 

He gradually developed a love for acting which lead him to land an apprenticeship at the California Shakespeare Theater after graduation.

Mahershala Ali's career as an actor started in 2001 with his full name Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, until 2010. In 2010 he began to get credited as Mahershala Ali.

In addition to acting, Ali is also a rapper. He signed with Hieroglyphics Imperium during the late 2000s as Prince Ali. He also released an album Curb Side Service in 2007 but chose not to promote it. Instead, he had made a decision to focus more on acting.

Also read: Marque Richardson - Actor of Dear White People, True Blood 

Films, Series

Mahershala Ali is well recognized for roles in the TV series House of Cards, Marvel's Luke Cage, and in the films The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.

In 2008 his major role came with the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Since then he has starred in films Predators, The Place Beyond the Pines, Free State of Jones, Hidden Figures, Moonlight (2016), Green Book (2018), and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018).

Some TV series in which he has starred include The 4400 (20004-2007), True Detective (2019), etc. In July 2019 it was announced that Mahershala Ali will star as Blade in future Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films.

Mahershala Ali in Moonlight (The New York Times)


In the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Mahershala Ali starred alongside Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, Julia Ormond, Jason Flemyng, Madisen Beaty, etc.

Also read: Teyonah Parris - Actress 

Mahershala Ali - Awards, Nominations

As of 2019, Mahershala Ali has had 14 prestigious award nominations including 2 Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Among all the nominations he has won 2 Academy Awards, a BAFTA, 2 Golden Globe Awards, and 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Mahershala Ali - Net Worth, Salary

Mahershala Ali's net worth is estimated to be around $12 million while his annual salary is under review.

Mahershala Ali - Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

On social media, Mahershala Ali is active on Instagram with more than 721k followers and counting. He is absent from other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Also read: Nathan Stewart-Jarrett - Actor 

Fact Check

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Tags : Amatus Sami-Karim rapper actor Moonlight The Curious Case of Benjamin Button MCU Marvel Cinematic Universe Blade Mahershala Ali