Friday, August 15, 2008
Where are they now? Mr. T Edition.
Mr. T. (according to Wikipedia & WEHT.net)
While reading National Geographic, Mr. T first noticed the unusual hairstyle, for which he is now famous, on a Mandinka warrior. He decided that adoption of the style would be a powerful statement about his African origin. It was a simpler, safer and more permanent visual signature than his gold chains, rings, and bracelets. The gold jewelry was worth about $300,000 at the time and took him about an hour to put on. Most nights, Mr. T spent even more time cleaning them using an ultrasonic cleaner. Occasionally, he would sleep with the heavy neck chains and bracelets on, "to see how my ancestors, who were slaves, felt."
In 1980, Mr. T was spotted by Sylvester Stallone while taking part in NBC's "America's Toughest Bouncer" competition—a segment of NBC's "Games People Play."  His role in Rocky III was originally intended as just a few lines. His catchphrase, "I pity the fool!", comes from the film, in which he played a boxer facing Rocky Balboa. When asked if he hated Rocky, he replied, "No, I don't hate Balboa, but I pity the fool." After losing out on the role of the title character's mentor in The Beastmaster, Mr. T appeared in another boxing film, Penitentiary 2, and in a cable television special, Bizarre, before accepting a television series role on The A-Team.
Mr. T appeared in an episode of Silver Spoons, reprising his old role as bodyguard to Ricky Stratton. In the episode, he explains his name as "First name: Mister; middle name: period; last name T." In one scene, when Ricky's class erupts into a paper ball throwing melee, Mr. T throws his body in front of the objects, fully protecting his client. In The A-Team, he played Sergeant Bosco "B.A." Baracus (B.A. is an abbreviation of "Bad Attitude"), an ex-army commando on the run with three other members from the U.S. government "for a crime they didn't commit." When asked at a press conference whether he was as stupid as B.A. Baracus, he observed quietly, "It takes a smart guy to play dumb."
A Ruby-Spears produced cartoon called Mr. T premiered in 1983 on NBC. The Mister T cartoon starred Mr. T as himself, the owner of a gym where a group of gymnasts trained. He would help them with their training but they would also help him solve mysteries and fight crime. Thirty episodes were produced.
In 1984, he made a motivational video called Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool!. He gives helpful advice to children throughout the video; for example, he teaches them how to understand and appreciate their origins, how to dress fashionably without buying designer labels, how to make tripping up look like breakdancing, how to control their anger, and how to deal with peer pressure. The video is roughly one hour long, but contains 30 minutes of singing, either by the group of children accompanying him, or by Mr. T himself. He sings "Treat Your Mother Right (Treat Her Right)", in which he enumerates the reasons why it is important to treat your mother right, and also raps a song about growing up in the ghetto and praising God. The raps in this video were written by Ice T. That same year he released a related rap album titled Mr. T's Commandments.
In 1988, Mr. T starred in the television series T. and T.. Mr. T was once reported to be earning around $80,000 a week for his role in The A-Team and getting $15,000 for personal appearances.
WHERE IS HE NOW?
Unfortunately, not too much has changed. Mr. T still looks like Mr. T (gold chains and all)
He was diagnosed with lymphoma in 1995 and has rarely worked since, undergoing daily chemotherapy treatments.
More recently he appeared in a 1-800-collect commercial.
He beat the lymphoma in 2001 and is back working. In April 2003 he filed suit against Best Buy for illegally using his image in their products.
Reportedly starring in Christain-themed movies and is born-again.
In 2005, Mr. T stated that he would never wear his chains again, "No, T, you can never wear your gold again. It's an insult to God". He arrived at this decision after seeing the effects of Hurricane Katrina. However, he has been seen wearing some chains for several commercial appearances, such as the 2007 U.K. and Ireland Snickers advertisement, and the 2007 World of Warcraft ad. Mr. T donated a great deal of clothing and money to Katrina victims