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Mahershala Ali completes his breakout year, winning best supporting actor for 'Moonlight'

Capping a breakout year in which he starred on screens big and small, Mahershala Ali won the supporting actor Oscar for his role as the soulful, nurturing drug dealer Juan in the searing drama “Moonlight.” A familiar face since appearing in the TV series “Crossing Jordan” in 2001, Ali became a star in 2016. Following his four-season run on the Netflix political drama “House of Cards,” and a turn in Marvel’s “Luke Cage,” Ali starred in “Moonlight” and another best picture nominee, “Hidden Figures.”

In accepting his Academy Award, Ali thanked his teachers who taught him, “‘it wasn’t about you, it’s about these characters you are serving. You’re in service to these stories and these characters.’ I’m so blessed to have had an opportunity. It’s about Juan, it’s about Chiron, it’s about Paula,” he said, referring to characters in “Moonlight.”

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kevin.crust@latimes.com

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