Mr. T was a huge star in the 1980s and most known for his character B.A. Baracus on the 80s hit show, The A-Team. He also starred in Rocky III in 1982, D.C. Cab in 1983, and had a stint as a WWF pro wrestler in the mid-80s. But what Mr. T was probably most known for was his signature gold chains he wore around his neck. So how did he come to wear these enormous pieces of gold?
Mr. T’s iconic gold chains originally came from customers at the nightclub where he worked as a bouncer in the 1970s. People had either lost them or left them behind after a fight, and he would wear and return them if the person chose to reclaim them.
He later used the chains as his iconic image, stating in his biography in 1984 that they were a symbol of the chains his African ancestors had when they were slaves. The chains were reportedly worth $300,000 and took an hour to put on. He stopped wearing the gold chains after the Katrina disaster in 2005, saying they would be an insult to all who were suffering.
Mr. T was born as Laurence Tureaud and earned a football scholarship to Prairie View A&M in Texas but was expelled after only a year. He enlisted in the Army and worked in the Military Police Corps, and after his discharge, he tried out for the Green Bay Packers. A knee injury caused him to not make the team, and it was then that he began to work as a bouncer and created Mr. T.
He next became a popular bodyguard to people from all walks of life as his reputation grew. It wasn’t until Sylvester Stallone saw him on a show called “America’s Toughest Bouncer” that he made his way into the movies as Clubber Lang in Rocky III. This was where he uttered his famous line, “No, I don’t pity Balboa, but I pity the fool.” “I pity the fool” became his catchphrase on The A-Team, where he starred as B.A. Baracus, as mentioned before.
Mr. T continued to work as an actor and was in various television shows and movies throughout the 1990s and 2000s. His latest appearance was on Dancing with the Stars in 2017.