Actor and professional wrestler Laurence Tureaud aka Mr. T served in the army for several years. He enlisted in 1975 and did so well that he was named the best trainee of some 6,000 recruits.
In 1976, while training at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, he committed a minor foul and his platoon sergeant decided to teach him a lesson by ordering him to cut down a tree. A few hours later, he had cut down about 70 trees with his ax until he was ordered to stop.
After his enrollment, Mr. T uses his military police skills and intimidating physique to land a job as a bouncer at a nightclub in Chicago.
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A few years later, he was hired as a bodyguard in Los Angeles. Famous clients of him include Steve McQueen, Michael Jackson, LeVar Burton, Diana Ross, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Leon Spinks.
When he appeared in NBC TV’s America’s Toughest Bouncer competition in 1980, he attracted the attention of director and actor Sylvester Stallone, who decided to play boxer Clubber Lang in the movie Rocky III. After that, his acting career skyrocketed.
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Pak T’s experience as a soldier paid off when he played a sergeant. BA Baracus, an army special forces veterinarian, in the series “The A-Team” which aired from 1983 to 1987.
Mr. T, born Laurence Tureaud in Chicago on May 21, 1952, officially changed his name to Mr. T. T in 1970. The name change was also accompanied by a change of style.
While reading National Geographic, he first noticed the unusual hairstyle of a Mandinka soldier. Subsequently, he decided to adopt the style, a strong claim on his African ancestry. His distinctive appearance was also combined with his gold chains, rings and bracelets.
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