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Green Book's Mahershala Ali Wins Best Supporting Actor at Oscars

Green Book's Mahershala Ali Wins Best Supporting Actor at Oscars

Mahershala Ali

Ali portrayed the queer jazz pianist Don Shirley.

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Mahershala Ali won Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance as the queer jazz pianist Don Shirley in Green Book.

Ali bested competitors Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman), Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), and Sam Rockwell (Vice).

Ali thanked Shirley in his acceptance speech. "I was trying to capture Dr. Shirley's essence, push me to my ends, which is a reflection of the person he was and the life that he lived. And I thank him," Ali said.

Shirley never came out in his lifetime. But the film depicts a real-life incident in which the musician just barely escaped being arrested for a same-sex encounter at a YMCA.

This is the second Oscar for the 45-year-old actor, who won in the same category in 2017 for his role as Juan in the queer film Moonlight, becoming the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award.

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.
Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.