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'''Mr. T''' (born '''Laurence Tureaud''', [[May 21]], [[1952]]) is an [[actor]] mostly known for his roles in the [[1980s]] [[television]] series ''[[The A-Team]]'' and as [[boxing|boxer]] ''[[Clubber Lang]]'' in the 1982 film ''[[Rocky III]]''.
== Biography ==
Laurence Tureaud was born in [[Chicago, Illinois]], the eleventh of twelve children; he and his four sisters and seven brothers grew up in the city's [[housing projects]]. He was a [[college football]] star, studied [[martial arts]], and won a scholarship to [[Prairie View A&M University]], [[Texas]], but was thrown out after a year. After that he went to a couple of small Chicago colleges on athletic scholarships. After leaving college he was a [[Military Police Corps|Military Police]]man in the [[U.S. Army]] before trying out for the [[Green Bay Packers]]. His professional football career was finished, however, by a knee injury. After this, his aspirations were set higher - the first in his family to become a Broadway dancer. He began on his journey by making connections to the celebrity community.
For about nine years Mr. T was a [[bodyguard]] to the stars, protecting such well-known personalities as [[Muhammad Ali]], [[Michael Jackson]], and [[Diana Ross]]. He charged around $3,000 a day and his business card famously read, "Next to God, there is no better protector than I." He always boasts that he never lost a client, saying, "I got hurt worse growing up in the [[ghetto]] than working as a bodyguard."
In [[1970]] he changed his name by [[deed poll]] from Laurence Tureaud to '''Laurence Tero''' and then in [[1980]] to "Mr. T" so that people would have to address him as "Mr." It was while reading ''[[National Geographic]]'' that Mr. T first saw the unusual hairstyle for which he is now famous, on an [[Africa|African]] [[Mandinka people|Mandinka]] warrior. He decided that adopting the style was a powerful statement about his African origins.
During his stint as a [[doorman]], he would take jewelry from disorderly people and wear them himself as a testament to how well he performed his job as a bouncer. At one point, his gold chains, rings, and bracelets were worth about $300,000. It took him about an hour to put it on, and most nights he cleaned it in an [[ultrasonic cleaner]] although some nights he slept in it "to see how my ancestors, who were [[Slavery|slaves]], felt."
In [[1986]] Mr. T removed many trees from his mansion in [[Lake Forest, Illinois|Lake Forest]], [[Illinois]] explaining that he had allergies. This created a large controversy and led several [[North Shore (Chicago)|North Shore]] communities to enact ordinances making the removal of old growth trees illegal.
In [[2005]], Mr T announced he would never wear his chains again saying, “No, T, you can never wear your gold again. It's an insult to God." He came to this decision after seeing the effects of [[Hurricane Katrina]]. Mr. T also donated a great deal of clothing and money to Katrina victims. He has been reported to be working on a new [[reality television]] show for [[TV Land]], called ''I Pity the Fool'' [], which will find the devout Christian assisting those in need.
Mr. T currently lives in [[Sherman Oaks, California]], and is single. He is a [[born again]] [[Christianity|Christian]].
== Acting roles and work ==
[[Image:B137.jpg|thumb|200|Hulk Hogan and Mr. T at the first WrestleMania]]
In [[1982]] Mr. T was spotted by [[Sylvester Stallone]] while taking part in "The World's Toughest Bouncer" contest. His role in ''Rocky III'' was originally intended as just a few lines, but Stallone built up the part around the man. His [[catch phrase]], "I pity the fool!" comes from the film, where he played a boxer facing Rocky Balboa in a match. When asked if he hated Rocky, he replied, "I don't hate Balboa, but I pity the fool."
Mr. T also appeared in another [[boxing]] [[film]], ''[[Penitentiary 2]]'', and in a [[cable television]] special, ''Bizarre'', before accepting the role of B.A. in ''The A-Team''.
In ''The A-Team'', he played Sergeant Bosco "Bad Attitude" Baracus, an ex-army [[commando]] on the run with three other members from the [[United States|U.S.]] government "for crimes they didn't commit". When asked at a press conference whether he was as stupid as B.A. Baracus, he observed quietly, "It takes a smart guy to play dumb."
A [[Ruby-Spears Productions|Ruby-Spears]] produced [[cartoon]] called ''Mr. T'' premiered in [[1983]] on [[NBC]]. The ''Mr. T'' cartoon starred Mr. T as himself, the owner of a gym where a group of gymnasts trained. He would help them with their training, but they would also help him solve mysteries and fight crime. Sixteen episodes were produced.
'''"''Be somebody, or be somebody's fool''"'''
In [[1984]], Mr. T made a motivational video called "Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool." He gives helpful advice to children throughout the video; for example, he teaches them how to understand and appreciate their origins, how to dress fashionably without buying designer labels, how to control their anger, and how to deal with peer pressure. The video is roughly one hour long, but contains 30 minutes of singing, either by the mob of children accompanying Mr. T, or by Mr. T himself. Mr. T sings "Treat Your Mother Right (Treat Her Right)," (video available [ here]) in which he enumerates the reasons why it is important to treat your mother right, and also raps a song about growing up in the ghetto and praising [[God]]. The raps in this video were written by [[Ice T]]. That same year he released a related rap album titled ''Mr. T's Commandments''.
'''Professional Wresling Era'''
He entered the world of [[professional wrestling]] in [[1985]]. He was [[Hulk Hogan]]'s tag-team partner at the first [[WrestleMania (1985)|WrestleMania]]. Hulk Hogan wrote in his autobiography that Mr. T almost ruined the main event of WrestleMania I between them and "Rowdy" [[Roddy Piper]] and "Mr. Wonderful" [[Paul Orndorff]], because when he arrived, security would not let his entourage into the building. Mr. T was ready to skip the show until Hogan personally talked him out of leaving. Roddy Piper mentioned that he and other fellow wrestlers legitimately disliked Mr. T, because he was an actor coming into wrestling, and had not paid his dues as a professional wrestler. He returned to the [[World Wrestling Entertainment|World Wrestling Federation]] as a special guest referee in 1987, before disappearing from the wrestling world. He reappeared as a special referee for a Hogan-[[Ric Flair]] match, seven years later, in [[October]] [[1994]].
Mr. T was once reported to be earning around $80,000 a week for his role in ''The A-Team'' and getting $15,000 for personal appearances, but by the end of the [[1990s]], he was appearing only in the occasional commercial, largely because of health problems (in 1995, he was diagnosed with T-cell [[lymphoma]]). He still seeks acting jobs and has had small roles in several films. He frequently appears on the [[Trinity Broadcasting Network|TBN]] Christian television series. He has appeared in commercials for [[MCI Communications|MCI]]'s 1-800-COLLECT collect-call service, and on ''[[Late Night with Conan O'Brien]]''.
== Album ==
[[Image:MrTalbum.png|thumb|200px|right|Album cover to ''Mr. T's Commandments''.]]
Mr. T in 1984 released a rap album titled ''Mr. T's Commandments'' much in the same tone as his '84 educational video which instructs children to stay in school and to stay away from drugs.
'''Track Listing'''
# Mr. T's Commandments
# Come on Over Here Boy
# The Toughest Man in the World
# Mr. T, Mr. T (He Was Made for Loving)
# The One and Only Mr. T
# No Dope No Drugs
# Lookin' Mighty Cute in Them Jeans
# Stay Away From My Buns
Album length: 5:31:14
== References in pop culture ==
* He was the subject of a [[sketch comedy|sketch]] on [[Britain|British]] [[comedy]] show ''[[Little Britain]]'' and cult show [[Bo' Selecta!]].
* He was the subject of recurring "The All New Adventures Of Mr. T" sketch on ''[[Saturday Night Live]]'' by [[Robert Smigel]], in which Mr. T and a group of teenagers drive around in a van, à la ''[[Scooby-Doo]]'', and have adventures while Mr. T tries to find work.
* On the [[Internet]], ''Mr. T. vs...''are web pages depicting Mr. T fighting other [[celebrities]], political figures, fictional characters, and other famous people in multi-page online comic books. Mr. T traditionally wins the contest, later to relax with a glass of [[milk]]. []
* In 2002 He appeared fittingly in the "Pass the Courvoisier" music video for [[Busta Rhymes]], P. Diddy and Pharrell Williams.
* The 2004 [[Veggie Tales]] DVD ''[[Sumo of the Opera]]'' is a parody of the ''[[Rocky]]'' franchise and features a character, Po Ta To, based on Mr. T's role in ''[[Rocky III]]'' as Clubber Lang. Po Ta To sports a mohawk similar to Mr. T's, utters the catchphrase, "I pity the fool!" and is amused by his opponent's "jibber-jabber."
* In the UK, Mr T appeared as a pixellated character on [[Digitiser]], a cult video games magazine shown on Channel 4 Teletext from 1993 to 2003. He would appear on the service's letters page, dispensing advice to children which would usually end in him warning viewers to "Stay away from my bins". Viewers could also write in comments about Mr T.
* There was a campaign to have Mr. T on [[LBC]], a London-based radio station, all carried out by [[Iain Lee]], a British comedian. Eventually, Iain Lee read out a letter which had been sent by Mr. T's Agent which stated "Mr. T would not like to take part in a local radio station." As a result Iain Lee's LBC producer is no longer using sound bites of Mr T. []
*In the video game [[Crash Tag Team Racing]], the [[Crunch Bandicoot]] character seems to style himself after Mr. T, complete with an unlockable costume that makes him look like Mr. T. Also, he often says "Quit with yo jibber-jabber!".
*Several "Mr. T Facts" have appeared around the Internet, similar to the popular [[Chuck Norris Facts]].
*Mr. T jokes have been made often in issues of Nintendo Power magazine.
*Mr. T has also been referred to in the animated comedy, Family Guy, numerous times. In "Fore Father" from season 2, Mr. T. birds hallucinogenically appear to Stewie. News anchor Tom Tucker quotes Mr. T. in "The Kiss Seen Around the World" saying, "Remember kids, Mr. T says, 'I pity the fool who does drugs.'". The episode "Brian Goes Back To College" from season 4 is dedicated to the A-Team, as Peter and his neighbours are inspired to form their own version of an "A-Team" and set to "help out the community", after winning a fancy dress competition dressed as them. African-American slow-speaking neighbour, Cleveland Brown, sports B.A. Baracus' hairdo, attire, and jewelry.
*In the [[SNES]] game [[EarthBound]], known for its quirky portrayal of the West, there is an NPC sprite which clearly resembles Mr. T.
== Filmography ==
* ''[[Rocky Balboa]]'' ([[2007]]) .... Clubber Lang
* ''[[Johnny Bravo]]'' (2005) .... Himself
* ''[[The Simpsons]]'' ([[2004]]) .... Himself
* ''[[Not Another Teen Movie]]'' ([[2001]])....The Wise Janitor
* ''[[Apocalypse IV: Judgment]]'' ([[2001]]) .... J. T. Quincy
* ''[[Judgment (movie)|Judgment]]'' ([[2000]]) .... J. T. Quincy
* ''[[Inspector Gadget]]'' ([[1999]]) .... Himself
* ''[[Saturday Night Live]]: The Best of [[Eddie Murphy]]'' ([[1998]]) (Video) .... Mister Robinson's Neighbor
* ''[[Spy Hard]]'' ([[1996]]) .... Helicopter Pilot
* ''[[Magic of the Golden Bear: Goldy III]]'' ([[1994]])
* ''[[Terrible Thunderlizards|The Terrible Thunderlizards]]'' ([[1993]]) .... Mr. T-Rex
* ''[[Freaked]]'' ([[1993]]) .... The Bearded Lady ([[1993]])
* ''[[T. and T.]]'' ([[1988]]) TV Series .... T. S. Turner
* ''[[WrestleMania II]]'' ([[1986]]) (Video) .... Himself
* ''[[WrestleMania (1985)|WrestleMania]]'' ([[1985]]) (Video) .... Himself
* ''[[WWF Superstars of Wrestling]]'' ([[1984]]) TV Series .... Himself ([[1985]]-[[1986]], [[1988]])
* ''Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool!'' ([[1984]]) (Video) .... Mr. T
* ''[[The Toughest Man in the World]]'' ([[1984]]) (TV) .... Bruise Brubaker
* ''[[Mister T (television series)|Mister T]]'' ([[1983]]) TV Series .... Himself
* ''[[D.C. Cab]]'' ([[1983]]) .... Samson
* ''[[The A-Team]]'' ([[1983]]-[[1987]]) TV Series .... Sergeant Bosco "B.A." Baracus
* ''[[Twilight Theatre]]'' ([[1982]]) TV Series
* ''[[Rocky III]]'' ([[1982]]) .... Clubber Lang
* ''[[Penitentiary II]]'' ([[1982]]) .... Himself
==External links==
* {{imdb name|id=0001558|name=Mr. T}}
* [ Mr. T and Me: Mr. T memorabilia collection]
* [ Guide to 'Be Someone']
* [ the agony booth : MR. T'S BE SOMEBODY ...OR BE SOMEBODY'S FOOL Review]
* [ the agony booth : MR. T: THE ANIMATED SERIES]
{{wikipedia|Mr. T}}
[[Category:People]] [[category:music]]

Revision as of 22:14, August 19, 2007






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