Mr. T

Mr. T (born Laurence Tureaud on May 21, 1952) is an iconic actor known for his roles as Sgt. "B. A." Baracus in the 1980s television series The A-Team, as boxer James "Clubber" Lang in the 1982 film Rocky III, and for his numerous appearances in the WWF and pro-wrestling. He is also well-known for his distinctive mohawk hairstyle and for wearing an excessive amount of gold jewelry and his hard man image.

Mr. T was born in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest boy of thirteen children. He, his four sisters and his seven brothers, grew up in the city's housing projects, the Robert Taylor Homes (another famous resident of the Taylor project was baseball superstar Kirby Puckett). He attended Paul Lawrence Dunbar Vocational Career Academy, playing football, wrestling, and studying martial arts. He won a scholarship to Prairie View A&M University, but was thrown out after a year. Mr. T also attended a couple of small Chicago colleges on athletic scholarships. After leaving school, Mr. T was a military policeman in the U.S. Army before trying out for the Green Bay Packers.

For about ten years, Mr. T was a bodyguard to the stars, protecting such well-known personalities as Muhammad Ali, Steve McQueen, Michael Jackson, Bruce Lee, Leon Spinks, Joe Frazier, and Diana Ross. He charged around $3,000 a day, and his business card famously read, "Next to God, there is no greater 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." A bald-headed, pre-mohawk Mr. T can be seen accompanying Joe Frazier to the ring in Frazier's rematch against George Foreman.

It was while reading National Geographic that Mr. T first saw the unusual hairstyle for which he is now famous, on an African Mandinka warrior. He decided that adopting the style was a powerful statement about his African origins.

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 slaves, felt."



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