Mahershala Ali snapped up the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor at the 2017 Academy Awards. The Moonlight actor is the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award.
This tops off a great week for the 43-year-old actor who just welcomed his first child, a girl.
He thanked his family and teachers in his acceptance speech:
My grandma would want me to button up.
Wow. I want to thank my teachers, my professors, I had so many wonderful teachers. One thing they consistently told me — Zelda Fichandler, Ron Van Lieu, Ken Washington — was that it wasn’t about you, it’s not about you. It’s about these characters, you’re a servant, you’re in service to these stories and these characters. And I am so blessed to have had this opportunity. It was about Juan, it was about Chiron, it was about Paula. Cast and crew, it was such a wonderful experience. Thank you, Barry Jenkins, thank you Tarell Alvin McCraney, Adele Romanski, who forced Barry to cast me. No, but, it’s just such a wonderful experience, and I have so many wonderful people to thank who’ve gotten me here, my manager, Carolyn Govers, who I’ve been with for ten years, just thank you so much. And the rest of the cast who did wonderful work, anyone of them could be up here right now holding this trophy such a gift getting to work with you and be inspired by you and the performances that y’all offered up. Thank you to the Academy, I really appreciate this.
Lastly, I want to thank my wife who is in her third trimester during award season. We just had a daughter four days ago, so I just, I just want to thank her for being such a soldier through this process and help and really carrying me through it all. Thank you, I really appreciate it, peace and blessings.