Feb. 16th, 1974
Oakland, California, USA
6' 1 1/2"
Mahershalalhashbaz Ali's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Born in Oakland, California, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali was raised in the neighboring city of Hayward by his parents and extended family.
Ali played basketball for St. Mary's College in Moraga, California (just east of Berkeley), where he received his bachelor of arts degree in mass communications. He began taking acting classes in his junior year, and in his senior year, he had a featured role in the school's production of "Spunk."
The summer after his graduation, Ali made his professional debut performing for a season with the California Shakespeare Festival in Orinda, California, where he also served as an apprentice. Soon after, he was accepted into graduate school at New York University, where he received a master's degree in acting.
While at NYU, Ali appeared in productions of "Blues for an Alabama Sky," "The School for Scandal," "A Lie of the Mind," "A Doll's House," "Monkey in the Middle," "The Merchant of Venice," "The New Place" and "Secret Injury, Secret Revenge." His additional stage credits include appearing in Washington, D.C. at the Arena Stage in the title role of "The Great White Hope," and in "The Long Walk" and "Jack and Jill." His first TV appearance was as Dr. Trey Sanders on the television drama series "Crossing Jordan". This was followed by other roles on shows like "NYPD Blue", "Threat Matrix", "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "The Haunted".
Subsequently, Ali landed the role of Richard Tyler, a Korean War pilot on the critically acclaimed drama "The 4400" for three seasons.
In addition to his numerous television credits, Ali will be seen in two feature films slated for release later this Fall; David Fincher's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" playing the role of Tizzy, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett as well as Wayne Kramer's film "Crossing Over" starring Harrison Ford.
- The name "Mahershalalhashbaz" is from the Book of Isaiah (chapter 8; verse 3) in the Hebrew Bible. It is the longest proper name that appears in the bible.
- Received his bachelor of arts degree in mass communications from St. Mary's College in Moraga, California.
- Is a respected rapper in the hip hop community, having collaborated and performed with notable artists such as Talib Kweli, Planet Asia, Keith Murray, and others.
- Received his MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.