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Mahershala Ali Thanks His Teachers, Cast & Wife In Best Supporting Actor Oscar Win

Deadline logo Deadline 2/27/2017 Liz Calvario
© Provided by Deadline

Mahershala Ali took home the 2017 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor at Sunday Night’s Academy Awards ceremony, honored for his role of Juan in Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight.

Earning attention all awards season for his performance, this is Ali’s first Oscar nomination and win. His victory follow’s his SAG Award victory.

“I want to thank my teachers, my professors,” began the actor, who received a standing ovation. “I had so many wonderful teachers. One thing that they consistently told me, that is wasn’t about you, it’s not about you, it’s about these characters. You are in service to these stories and these characters, and I’m so blessed to have had an opportunity. It was about Juan, it was about Chiron, it was about Paula…Thank you Barry Jenkins…The rest of the cast, who did wonderful work, any one of them could be up here holding this trophy… Lastly, I want to thank my wife, who was in her third trimester during the awards season. We just had a daughter four days ago.” Watch his entire speech below.

Of the evening’s other nominees, Dev Patel (Lion) and Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) have never been nominated. Michael Shannon was nominated in 2009 for Revolutionary Road and Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water, nominated seven times) won an Oscar for 2010’s Crazy Heart.

Ali is best known for his role in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Hunger Games franchise, Free State of Jones, Hidden Figures and the Netflix series House of Cards and Luke Cage.

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