Mr. T (born Laurence Tureaud; May 21, 1952) is an American actor known for his roles as B. A. Baracus in the 1980s television series The A-Team, as boxer Clubber Lang in the 1982 film Rocky III, and for his appearances as a professional wrestler. Mr. T is also well-known for his distinctive mohawk hairstyle, for wearing large amounts of gold jewelry, and for his tough guy image. In 2006 he starred in the reality show I Pity the Fool, shown on TV Land, the title of which comes from his catchphrase from Rocky III.
While reading National Geographic, Mr. T first noticed the unusual hairstyle, for which he is now famous, on a Mandinka warrior. He decided that adoption of the style would be a powerful statement about his African origin. It was a simpler, safer and more permanent visual signature than his gold chains, rings, and bracelets. The gold jewelry was worth about $300,000 at the time and took him about an hour to put on. Most nights, Mr. T spent even more time cleaning them using an ultrasonic cleaner. Occasionally, he slept with the heavy neck chains and bracelets on, "to see how my ancestors, who were slaves, felt."
In 1980, Mr. T was spotted by Sylvester Stallone while taking part in NBC's "America's Toughest Bouncer" competition—a segment of NBC's Games People Play. Although his role in Rocky III was originally intended as just a few lines, he was eventually cast as Clubber Lang, the primary antagonist. His catchphrase, "I pity the fool!", comes from the film; when asked if he hates Rocky, Lang replies, "No, I don't hate Balboa, but I pity the fool." Subsequently, after losing out on the role of the title character's mentor in The Beastmaster, Mr. T appeared in another boxing film, Penitentiary 2, and on an episode of Showtime's early sketch comedy series Bizarre, where he fights and eats Super Dave Osborne, before accepting a television series role on The A-Team.
Mr. T also appeared in an episode of Silver Spoons, reprising his old role as bodyguard to Ricky Stratton. In the episode, he explains his name as "First name: Mister; middle name: period; last name T." In one scene, when Ricky's class erupts into a paper ball throwing melee, Mr. T throws his body in front of the objects, fully protecting his client.
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Official Site: TV Land
Links: Wikipedia Entry: Mr. T Legendary TV's Mr. T profile Wikipedia: I Pity the Fool