Worked With:

Taraji P. Henson

Matthew McConaughey

Jennifer Lawrence

David Morse

Kevin Spacey

Ryan Gosling

Edward James Olmos

David Strathairn

Mahershalalhashbaz Ali Biography

Birth Name: Mahershalalhashbaz Ali
Born: 02/16/1974
Birth Place: Oakland, California, USA

Ali grew up outside San Francisco, CA with his parents and extended family. Life wasn't always easy, but he managed to qualify for a full sports scholarship to St. Mary's College in nearby Moraga and soon settled into the life of a student athlete. The death of his father in 1994, as well as his increasing disillusionment with the grueling demands of collegiate basketball, prompted him to start writing and performing poetry. After graduating from the school in 1996, he trained and worked with the California Shakespeare Festival before following his professor's encouragement and auditioning for (and winning) a spot at Tisch School of the Arts in New York City. Reinvigorated and re-energized by the school's demanding workload, Ali legally shortened his name to the simpler Mahershala in 2000 and began heading out on auditions.

He made his TV debut with a recurring role as a medical examiner on "Crossing Jordan," before joining "The 4400" as the father of a girl who instantly, mysteriously ages decades. With echoes of that role in his performance as the adoptive father of a backwards-aging Brad Pitt in "Benjamin Button," Ali showcased his talents across a range of genres. With the momentum of small but steady successes behind him, the late 2000s proved a turning point for Ali. He joined the supernatural "Alphas" as stoic government agent Nathan Clay, and landed a recurring role as a determined investigator on the acclaimed "Treme." The following year he showed a softer side as Eva Mendes' fiercely protective boyfriend (and Gosling rival) Kofi in the epic "The Place Beyond the Pines." In 2013 Ali returned to familiar icy territory as lobbyist Remy Danton in the David Fincher-produced "House of Cards."