Created by Webmaster on 17 Jun 2011 - 11:14. Pageviews : 2197
Mr T Biography
Mr. T was born Laurence Tureaud on 21 May 1952 in the rough southside ghetto area of Chicago. He is the second youngest of twelve children (he has four sisters and seven brothers) and grew up in the housing projects of Chicago. His father left when he was 5, and his mother raised the family on $87 a month welfare in a three room apartment. Mr.T's brothers encouraged him to build up his body in order to survive in the area, and he has commented, "If you think I'm big, you should see my brothers!" His mother is a religious woman, who has had a strong influence on him. He says, "Any man who don't love his momma can't be no friend of mine".
He was an average student in school. He says "Most of the time I stared out the windows, just daydreaming. I didn't study much because I have a photographic memory." Apart from one spell between 5th and 7th grades when he went a little astray - playing hookey, cursing, acting tough, being disrespectful - he was a well behaved child (He worried about how his mother would feel if he ended up in jail). He attended Dunbar Vocational High School.
He was a college football star, studied martial arts, and was three times city wrestling champion. He won a scholarship to Prairie View A&M University in Texas, but was thrown out after a year. After that he went to a couple of little colleges in Chicago, always on an athletic scholarship. When he left college, Mr. T was a military policeman in the US Army. After that, he was invited to try out for the Green Bay Packers, but a knee injury finished his professional football career.
He then became a 'minder', and remained largely in that profession for about nine years. He has bodyguarded such stars as Muhammed Ali, Leon Spinks, Michael Jackson, Steve McQueen, Diana Ross and LeVar Burton. He charged about $3,000 a day (more for 'special' jobs) and his business card reads, 'Next to God, there is no better protector than I'. He boasts that he never lost a client. Of the job he says, "I got hurt worse growing up in the ghetto than working as a bodyguard."
He believed in having a very professional attitude toward the job, preventing trouble from even starting rather than having to sort it out once it had. "I was a very dapper dresser," he recalls. "I shaved my head, wore derby hats, white gloves, 3 piece suits, carried a cane. I never went any place without a fresh carnation or a rosebud in my lapel."
When he wasn't working as a bodyguard, he filled in by working as a bouncer. One job he had was at Dingbat's club in Chicago. Club owner Ron Riskman says, "He was always very smartly dressed and he shaved his head completely bald. He'd confront trouble makers and say to them, "It's only fair to warn you that my patience is as long as the hair on my head." Most of them would get pretty quiet after that.
In 1970 he changed his name by deed poll to Laurence Tero, and later to Mr. T in order that people would have to address him as "Mr." It was while reading "National Geographic" that Mr. T first saw the mohawk hairstyle on a Mandinka warrior. He felt that adopting the style was a powerful statement about his origins.
In 1975 he worked for a while on the Chicago educational scheme as a gym teacher. In 1978 he decided to do something definite about his religious beliefs and was rebaptised in the Cosmopolitan Community Church in Chicago.
In 1982, Mr. T was spotted by Sylvester Stallone. He was on the TV show "Games People Play" taking part in "The World's Toughest Bouncer" contest - tossing two stuntmen about quite casually! His role in "Rocky III" was originally intended as just a few lines, but Stallone built up the part around the man. Mr.T also appeared in another boxing film, "Penitentiary 2" and in a cable TV special, "Bizarre" before accepting the role of "B.A" in "The A-Team."
Mr.T entered the world of pro wrestling in 1985-86 and 1994-95. He was Hulk Hogan's tag team partner at the first Wrestlemania, defeating the team of Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper on March 31, 1985. His feud with Piper continued into Wrestlemania 2 in 1986, defeating Piper in a boxing match by DQ. Mr. T returned to the WWF as a special guest referee in 1987, before disappearing from the wrestling world. He reappeared as a special referee for a Hogan-Ric Flair match, 7 years later in October 1994. He stayed with Hogan for a few matches.
The toughest battle of his life came when he developed cancer in the '90s. He seems to have won the fight, and is frequently seen as a guest on TV shows like "Suddenly Susan" and most recently in the feature film "Inspector Gadget".
"I'm not sad. And I never said Why me?' You know, I prayed in my doctor's office when he told me that the tests came back positive. And I prayed and I said, 'I thank you God for allowing me to help and reach other people. The dermatologist did a biopsy or whatever you call it and he said, 'It might have just been a bacterial infection." I said, "Okay, just give me some antibiotics" and then in about a week he said, "Well we should be hearing something back soon, so don't worry".
So when they came back there was a rare form of cancer, T-Cell Lymphoma of the skin. You know. So he came to me and was like, "We'll run some more tests.' So I said, 'Okay.' So we did the Cat Scan, the bone marrow, the AIDS test, everything. We're trying to find out everything, so everything would be the king of cool, you know. But there was just something in my skin. You know. Twenty treatments of radiation on my ear. And then a little spot came back on my leg. And that's when he said he wanted to change the treatment.
That's when he said we're going to do chemotherapy. And we did then I think five treatments of chemo and then we stopped and we changed and now I'm on Entiferon.
So everyday I go and I get a shot. And the real thing that I like about the fact that I go to the hospital, sure I could get my shots at home, but if I got my shots at home I wouldn't have met the lovely people that I've met there. So they see me not as Mr.T the celebrity, but as a child of God that helps other people through it because a lot of people aren't as fortunate as I am " - Mr.T.
This superb article was taken from The Fool Files. (Now offline)
Nil comments added.
Support The Site: