Lawrence received scholarships to attend various universities after his high school graduation but decided that serving his country was his calling. After a stint as a military policeman in the Army, he was able to realize his lifelong dream of being a professional athlete. He tried out for the Green Bay Packers but saw his dreams dashed when he suffered a debilitating knee injury, ending any hopes for a professional football career.
It was after serving in the Army that he made a metamorphosis and transformed his entire persona – inside and out. He changed his name officially from his given name to Mr. T and also changed his look. While reading an issue of National Geographic, he spotted an unusual hairstyle called the African Mandinka and adopted it as his signature cut.
Mr. T used his Army military experience and his commanding presence to begin a career as a bodyguard, protecting some of the biggest names in boxing, from Muhammad Ali to Leon Spinks. In his spare time, he worked as a doorman at Dingbats in Chicago, where it was reported that he obtained his signature gold chains from the disorderly people he encountered. At the time it was estimated that the gold chains were worth more than $300,000.
It was in 1982 that Mr. T's long and illustrious career began. Academy Award-winning director/actor Sylvester Stallone spotted Mr. T while he was participating in The World's Toughest Bouncer contest which aired on NBC's Games People Play. Stallone cast him in Rocky III as Clubber Lang, a role that originally had a few lines, but after working with T, the role was greatly expanded. It was from that role that he was chosen to star as Sgt. Bosco B.A. Baracus in the highly successful TV series, The A-Team, which ran on NBC from 1983-87.
He literally jumped into the entertainment arena when he partnered with Hulk Hogan for Wrestlemania I and II. Since then, he has served as a referee for several matches over the past 10 years.
In 1995, he was diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoma but today, over ten years later, is healthy, strong and cancer-free.
In 2006, he starred in TV Land's I Pity the Fool, his own reality show, in which he dispensed his own advice – in classic T style.
After Hurricane Katrina, Mr. T. was so deeply touched by the plight of the displaced Mississippi and New Orleans natives that he took his signature chains off for good – a sign of solidarity with these humble and proud victims. In addition, he donated a considerable amount of clothing and money to charities that benefited the Katrina victims.
Mr. T currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Read earlier biographies on this page.
Mr. T Facts
|Birth Name||Lawrence Tureaud|
|Birthday||May 21, 1952 (65)|
|Birthplace||Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|Height||5' 10" (1m78) How tall is Mr. T compared to you?|
|T. and T. (1988) as TS Turner|
|The A-Team (1983) as B.A. Baracus (breakthrough)|
|Rocky III (1982) as Clubber Lang|