Mr. T –
In the mid 70s, he took work as a Chicago bouncer and bodyguard. He wore gold chains, a mohawk and replied to the name “Mr. T.” Sylvester Stallone cast him as a competing fighter in Rocky III.
His dad was a minister who left the family when Tureaud was just five years of age, leaving his mother to raise him and his sibs.
Tureaud developed quite close to his mom, who kept him out of trouble as a youth. A continuous daydreamer, Tureaud’s head in the clouds approach earned him typical mark. Rather, he excelled at sports and became a football star and three-time wrestling champ in high school.
In 1971, he chose to attend Prairie View and continue a bachelor’s degree in math. He was expelled after just one year.
Determining school wasn’t for him, Tureaud became a military policeman in the U.S. Army.
In the mid 70s, Tureaud returned to Chicago and found work as a doorman. His days as a military policeman helped him develop a reputation as one of Chicago’s toughest, & most ill-famed, bouncers. Always the consummate showman, Tureaud embraced a Mohawk hairdo inspired with a National Geographic photograph of an African Mandikan warrior. He began sporting lots of gold jewelry, which he asserted to have taken from misbehaving customers. He also embraced the name Mr. T, maintaining the new moniker would drive customers to show him reverence.
Mr. T’s standing as a bouncer for one of Chicago’s most popular clubs often place him in contact with stars. His unbelievable reputation and his well-known links earned Mr. T the new occupation of star bodyguard. The occupation lasted almost ten years, until a chance meeting with celebrity Sylvester Stallone in 1980 altered everything.
After seeing Mr. T on a televised bouncer contest, Stallone determined to cast the bodyguard in his movie, Rocky III (1982). Mr. T played Clubber Lang, a fighter compared against the movie’s principal character, Rocky Balboa. The movie became a smash success, grossing over $125 million in the box office. Crowds adored Mr. T’s over the top character, and his performance made him an overnight sensation.
Taking advantage of his newly found celebrity, Mr. T got a starring role in another box office hit, D.C. Cab (1983). He also debut in his own cartoon series, Mister T, which aired on NBC. The animation featured Mr. T as the owner of a health club of young sportsmen who fought offense and solved puzzles.
Developing a reputation as an advocate and role model for young folks, Mr. T started drawing a bead on more of his work around helping youths. In 1984, he released a music record entitled Mr. T’s Commandments that supported kids to make great selections. He followed the success of the record using a inspirational video and film soundtrack called Be Somebody… or Be Somebody’s Fool!, aimed at supporting kids to make responsible choices.
Each week, the show’s characters helped innocent individuals while on the run in the military. Mr. T’s character as Sgt. Bosco “B.A.” Baracus relied primarily on the star’s exceptional off-screen character. The show became another immediate success.
In 1985, in the peak of his popularity, Mr. T entered the world of professional wrestling. He became the tag team partner of wrestling superstar, Hulk Hogan, in WrestleMania I. Continuing with the WWF, Mr. T became a unique “WWF fighter,” in light of his character in Rocky III. The show continued for three seasons.
From the early 90s, Mr. T’s popularity was on the decrease, due largely to his poor health. In 1995 physicians diagnosed the performer with T-cell lymphoma, a type of cancer. While he recuperated, Mr. T kept a low profile and restricted his looks to advertisements.
As his health improved, he started appearing again on the big screen. Then he formed a show of appearances in 2001, including parts in Not Another Teen Movie, Judgment, and The Proud Family. The exact same year, in the age of 49, Mr. T formally went into remission.
In the show, Mr. T traveled from town-to-town giving guidance, solving problems and educating folks about co-operation. The show continued for six episodes. Most recently, Mr. T has returned to advertisements.
Mr. T now divides his time between homes in Chicago, Illinois, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. He’s three kids with ex wife Phillys Clark.