On May 21, 1952, Laurence Tero Tureaud was born in Chicago. But it would be 20 years later before “Mr. T” came to be in the 1970s. Mr. T was one of Chicago’s toughest bouncers, and it was here that the gold chains, mohawk, and moniker were born. He would claim that the gold chains were taken from rowdy customers, and the hairstyle was adopted from a photo of an African Madikan warrior that he saw. And the “mister” was added on as a way to force customers to show him respect. We’d venture to guess they’d show it anyway.
From Chicago’s nightclubs, Mr. T found himself immersed in celebrity and went from bouncer to bodyguard to the silver screen. Sgt. Bosco “B.A.” Baracus would become one of his most famous roles as part of The A-Team on NBC—again, letting Mr. T rub elbows with celebs, but this time in an on-screen capacity. The above still hails from the episode “Cowboy George” where The A-Team thinks they’ve booked country music act Cowboy George for a Southern dance hall but gets British-born Boy George instead. Even if you’ve never seen the episode, you can imagine how that went.