Who is Amatus Sami-Karim, Mahershala Ali’s Wife?

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Mahershala Ali is a diverse actor who, during his 17-year acting career, has garnered prestigious accolades that include Best Supporting Actor for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. The former House of Cards actor is currently starring beside Blade actor Stephen Dorff in season three of the time-jumping HBO crime series True Detective. In True Detective, the handsome actor plays troubled Arkansas state police detective Wayne Hayes who, along with partner Roland West (Dorff), try to solve a murder in the Ozarks that involves two children.

Wayne Hayes is married to drop-dead gorgeous former schoolteacher and novelist in the series Amelia Reardon, played by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them star Carmen Ejogo. What’s really interesting to note, as Mahershala Ali is nominated for his second Academy Award for Green Book, is that life is imitating art in the way of his beautiful and talented wife in real-life Amatus Sami-Karim. As all eyes may be on the Kicks star as attends the Academy Awards Sunday to possibly nab his second Oscar, you may ask yourself: Who is Amatus Sami-Karim, Mahershala Ali’s wife?

According to The Cheat Sheet, Amatus Sami-Karim is an esteemed and talented artist in her own right, and she met her future husband while both of them attended the Tisch School of the Arts. Sami-Karim graduated from Tisch and later attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art for one year. Sami-Karim’s accomplishments and current art projects are discussed extensively on her Amatus website.

Amatus Sami-Karim spent her earlier years Chicago’s South Side in the mosque of her father. Her home was also located across the street from Chicago’s now demolished Cabrini-Green Projects. Regarding her talents, Amatus Sami-Karim is a successful performative conceptual artist that works in theater, music and film. Her themes deal with subjects related to history, popular culture and theater. In other words, she’s a bad*** of many talents.

The multifaceted Sami-Karim has also collaborated on projects with recording artists Jneiro Jarel, Meshell Ndegeocello, and the late grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove. The skilled artist’s resume boasts big-name clients such as Pepsi, Rooftop Films, 651 Arts, The Georgia Shakespeare Festival, among others.


Behind every great man, there’s a woman, the saying goes. And some credit for Mahershala Ali’s meteoric rise to fame can be attributed to Amatus Sami-Karim’s support. Sami-Karim, like her husband that was the first Muslim to win an Oscar for acting, is Muslim. Her works also include combating Islamophobia, and she lectured at a UCLA event to educate people on the subject.

Amatus Sami-Karim and the Hollywood star also have one daughter Bari Najma Ali, who was born on February 22, 2017.