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From House of Cards to Hidden Figures, Mahershala Ali blew up in 2016, earning him an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his role in Moonlight. 

Check out the reasons why he won this year.

10 Reasons Why NAACP Image Award Nominee Mahershala Ali Won 2016  was originally published on

1. Moonlight


2016 was the year of Mahershala. With his leading role in the critically acclaimed and award-winning film “Moonlight,” Ali has shown no signs of slowing down.

2. Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures

This year, Ali landed another major role in another major film, “Hidden Figures,” which went on to become the number one movie at the box office. Critics are saying that both “Hidden Figures” and “Moonlight” are amongst the top films of 2016.

3. House of Cards

House of Cards

Mahershala left one of the most popular shows in entertainment, “House of Cards,” after three seasons as a series regular to try his hand elsewhere in television. His character Remy also managed to get away from Kevin Spacey’s character President Underwood.

4. Critics Choice Award Win

Critics Choice Award Win

Ali won Best Supporting Actor at the 2016 Critics Choice Awards for his role in “Moonlight,” which cemented the fact that 2016 was his year.

5. Wife’s Pregnancy

Wife’s Pregnancy

Back in December, Ali and his wife, artist Amatus Sami-Karim, announced they were expecting their first child together. The couple tied the knot in 2013 after knowing each other for almost 20 years. They initially dated while students at NYU.

6. New Fan Base

New Fan Base

With all of his powerful roles and profound speeches, Mahershala has gained himself a whole new fanbase. The fact that he looks like a sculpted male model doesn’t hurt either.

7. Luke Cage

Luke Cage

After leaving “House Of Cards,” Ali landed a role on the highly anticipated Marvel remake of “Luke Cage” as the town’s victim, Cottonmouth. In an interview with Complex, he said of the show, “I hope ‘Luke Cage’ is just one of hundreds of stories that point the camera on people who we haven’t seen enough.”

8. Golden Globe Nomination

Golden Globe Nomination

When the Golden Globe nominations were announced, fans were excited to see that Ali was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Moonlight.” However, they were outraged when the award went to actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson for his role in “Nocturnal Animals.” Despite the alleged snub, Ali is continuing to win hearts all over the world.

9. Working with Taraji Again

Working with Taraji Again

Back in 2008, Mahershala landed a role in Oscar-nominated film “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” which starred a highly buzzed about Taraji P. Henson. Fast forward eight years later, the two met again while working together on another Oscar contender, “Hidden Figures.”

10. Roxanne Film

Roxanne Film

2017 is gearing up to be just as big for Ali as the year before. The actor landed a role in the Forrest Whitaker-produced film about the life of female rapper Roxanne Chante. “Roxanne, Roxanne” is set to big a huge hit at Sundance and also stars Nia Long, Elvis Nolasco and Kevin Phillips.