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Actor and professional wrestler Mr. T, known for his mohawk and gold chains, starred in 1980s TV programs like The A-Team and Mister T.
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Laurence Tero Tureaud was on May 21, 1952, in Chicago, Illinois. In the mid 70s, he took a job as a Chicago bouncer and bodyguard. He wore gold chains, a mohawk and answered to the name "Mr. T." Sylvester Stallone cast him as a bodyguard in Rocky III.
Born Laurence Tero Tureaud on May 21, 1952, in Chicago, Illinois, as the youngest boy in a family of 12 children. His father was a minister who left the family when Tureaud was only five years old, leaving his mother to raise him and his siblings.
Tureaud grew very close to his mother, who kept him out of trouble as a youth. In high school, Tureaud attended Paul Lawrence Dunbar Vocational Career Academy. A constant daydreamer, Tureaud's head-in-the-clouds attitude earned him average grades. Instead, he excelled at athletics and became a football star and three-time wrestling champion in high school.
Upon graduation, Tureaud won a scholarship to play football for the Prairie View A&M University Panthers in Prairie View, Texas. In 1971, he decided to attend Prairie View and pursue a bachelor's degree in mathematics. He was expelled after only one year.
Deciding school was not for him, Tureaud became a military policeman in the U.S. Army. After his short stint in the military, Tureaud decided to try out for the Green Bay Packers, a professional football team in Green Bay, Wisconsin. A debilitating knee injury kept him from making the team.
In the mid 70s, Tureaud returned to Chicago and found a job as a doorman. His days as a military policeman helped him gain a reputation as one of Chicago's toughest, and most infamous, bouncers. Always the consummate showman, Tureaud adopted a Mohawk hairstyle inspired by a National Geographic photo of an African Mandikan warrior. He started sporting piles of gold jewelry, which he claimed to have taken from misbehaving customers. He also adopted the name Mr. T, claiming the new moniker would force customers to show him respect.
Mr. T's position as a bouncer for one of Chicago's hottest nightclubs frequently put him in contact with celebrities. His outrageous reputation and his famous connections earned Mr. T the new job of celebrity bodyguard. Charging more than $3,000 a night, Mr. T began protecting stars such as Steve McQueen, Diana Ross, and Muhammad Ali. The job lasted nearly ten years, until a chance meeting with actor Sylvester Stallone in 1980 changed everything.
After spotting Mr. T on a televised bouncer competition, Stallone decided to cast the bodyguard in his film, Rocky III (1982). Mr. T played Clubber Lang, a boxer pitted against the film's main character, Rocky Balboa. It was during the filming of this movie that Mr. T coined the catch phrase "I pity the fool!" The film became a blockbuster hit, grossing over $125 million at the box office. Audiences loved Mr. T's over-the-top character, and his performance made him an overnight sensation.
Taking advantage of his newly found fame, Mr. T landed a starring role in another box-office hit, D.C. Cab (1983). He also premiered in his own cartoon series, Mister T, which aired on NBC. The cartoon featured Mr.
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