Mr. T (born Lawrence Tureaud; May 21, 1952) is an American actor, television personality, and retired professional wrestler. He is known for his roles as B. A. Baracus in the 1980s television series The A-Team and as boxer Clubber Lang in the 1982 film Rocky III. He is also known for his distinctive hairstyle inspired by Mandinka warriors in West Africa, his gold jewelry, his tough-guy image, and his catchphrase "I pity the fool!", first uttered as Clubber Lang in Rocky III, then turned into a trademark and reused in slogans or titles, like the reality show I Pity the Fool in 2006.
Mr. T is a born-again Christian. Mr. T has three children; two daughters, one of whom is a comedian, and a son from his ex-wife.In 1987, he angered the residents of Lake Forest, Illinois, by cutting down more than a hundred oak trees on his estate. The local newspaper referred to the incident as "the Lake Forest Chain Saw Massacre".In 1995, he was diagnosed with a cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, or mycosis fungoides. Once in remission, he joked about the coincidence: "Can you imagine that? Cancer with my name on it — personalized cancer!" He wrote an as-yet unpublished book on this experience, called Cancer Saved My Life (Cancer Ain't For No Wimps). He made a direct reference to it as he performed a waltz to the song Amazing Grace in Dancing with the Stars.He stopped wearing virtually all his gold, one of his identifying marks, after helping with the cleanup after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He said, "As a Christian, when I saw other people lose their lives and lose their land and property ... I felt that it would be a sin before God for me to continue wearing my gold. I felt it would be insensitive and disrespectful to the people who lost everything, so I stopped wearing my gold."Mr. T often refers to himself in the third person. He also frequently talks in rhymes. He cites Muhammad Ali as his "childhood hero" and his main inspiration with regards to style and mannerisms.
Mr. T was born Lawrence Tureaud in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest son in a family with twelve children. Tureaud, with his four sisters and seven brothers, grew up in a three-room apartment in the Robert Taylor Homes. His father, Nathaniel Tureaud, was a minister. After his father left when he was five, he shortened his name to Lawrence Tero. In 1970, he legally changed his last name to T. His new name, Mr. T., was based upon his childhood impressions regarding the lack of respect from white people for his family:I think about my father being called 'boy', my uncle being called 'boy', my brother, coming back from Vietnam and being called 'boy'. So I questioned myself: "What does a black man have to do before he's given the respect as a man?" So when I was 18 years old, when I was old enough to fight and die for my country, old enough to drink, old enough to vote, I said I was old enough to be called a man. I self-ordained myself Mr. T so the first word out of everybody's mouth is "Mr." That's a sign of respect that my father didn't get, that my brother didn't get, that my mother didn't get.Tureaud attended Dunbar Vocational High School, where he played football, wrestled, and studied martial arts. While at Dunbar he became the citywide wrestling champion two years in a row. He won a football scholarship to Prairie View A&M University, where he majored in mathematics, but was expelled after his first year.He then enlisted in the United States Army in 1975 and served in the Military Police Corps. After his discharge in the late 1970s, he tried out for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League, but failed to make the team due to a knee injury.Tureaud next worked as a bouncer at the Rush Street club Dingbats. It was at this time that he created the persona of Mr. T. His wearing of gold neck chains and other jewelry was the result of customers losing the items or leaving them behind at the night club after a fight. A banned customer, or one reluctant to risk a confrontation by going back inside, could return to claim his property from Mr. T wearing it conspicuously right out front. Along with controlling the violence as a doorman, Tureaud was mainly hired to keep out drug dealers and users. Tureaud claims that as a bouncer, he was in over 200 fights and was sued a number of times, but won each case. "I have been in and out of the courts as a result of my beating up somebody. I have been sued by customers whom I threw out that claimed that I viciously attacked them without just cause and/or I caused them great bodily harm as a result of a beating I supposedly gave them," Mr. T once remarked.He eventually parlayed his job as a bouncer into a career as a bodyguard that lasted almost ten years. As his reputation grew, he was contracted to guard, among others, clothes designers, models, judges, politicians, athletes and millionaires. He protected well-known personalities such as Muhammad Ali, Steve McQueen, Michael Jackson, Leon Spinks, Joe Frazier and Diana Ross, charging $3,000 per day, to a maximum of $10,000 per day, depending on the clientele's risk-rate and traveling locations.With his reputation as "Mr. T", Tureaud attracted strange offers and was frequently approached with odd commissions, which included assassination, tracking runaway teenagers, locating missing persons, and large firms asking him to collect past-due payments by force. Tureaud claims that he was once anonymously offered $75,000 to assassinate a target and received in the mail a file of the hit and an advance of $5,000, but he refused it.While he was in his late twenties, Tureaud won two tough-man competitions consecutively. The first aired as "Sunday Games" on NBC-TV under the contest of "America's Toughest Bouncer" which included throwing a 150-pound (68 kg) stuntman, and breaking through a 4-inch (10 cm) wooden door. For the first event, Tureaud came in third place. For the end, two finalists squared off in a boxing ring for a two-minute round to declare the champion. Making it to the ring as a finalist, he had as his opponent a 280-pound (130 kg) Honolulu bouncer named Tutefano Tufi. Within twenty seconds "Mr. T" gave the six foot five competitor a bloody nose, and later a bloody mouth. He won the match and thus the competition. The second competition was aired under the new name "Games People Play" on NBC-TV. When interviewed by Bryant Gumbel before the final boxing match, Mr T. said, "I just feel sorry for the guy who I have to box. I just feel real sorry for him." This fight was scheduled to last three rounds, but Mr. T finished it in less than 54 seconds. The line, "I don't hate him but... I pity the fool" in the movie Rocky III was written by Sylvester Stallone, who is reputed to have been inspired by the interview.
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World's Craziest Fools
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Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
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The Magic of the Golden Bear: Goldy III
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Eek! The Cat
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1 TV show
T. and T.
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Alice Through the Looking Glass
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WWE WrestleMania II
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A Christmas Dream
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Be Somebody… or Be Somebody's Fool!
Educational video where Mr. T attempts to instill good values (honor thy mother, don't give in to peer pressure, etc.) to kids through rapping and breakdancing, among other things.
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