Mr. T: What's BA Baracus from the A-Team doing now?

Lawrence Tureaud? Who's that?
TV legend
What does BA mean?
Hard beginnings for Mr. T
The youngest... of 12 siblings!
Bodyguard to the stars
Rocky III
'The A-Team'
The long shadow of BA
A Wrestlemania classic
A highly requested image
Be somebody
The year that changed everything
Six years later, a comeback
From live action to animation
In the Hall of Fame
Dancing is not his thing
Believer and social practitioner
No more gold
Supportive and committed
Lawrence Tureaud? Who's that?

Most people won't recognize the name Lawrence Tureaud. His stage name -  Mr. T - will definitely be recognizable. He is one of the most iconic personalities in American culture. The name of his most famous character, BA Baracus, is also widely known.

 

 

TV legend

Born in May 1952, Lawrence rose to fame after starring in 'The A-Team', a classic series from the 1980s. In this series, he played the aforementioned BA Baracus, a grumpy yet likeable character who was also afraid of planes.

 

What does BA mean?

On account of his grumpiness, the letters BA informally stand for 'bad attitude', but they also stand for Bosco Albert. So, to give the character his proper title, he is Bosco Albert (Bad Attitude) Baracus. In recent years, Mr. T has become a Christian, and he has stated that BA now stands for 'born again'.

 

 

Hard beginnings for Mr. T

But if the five seasons of 'The A-Team' were glorious for the actor, the years before and after were not so easy for him. His turbulent life story partially explains his renewed interest in Christianity.

The youngest... of 12 siblings!

Lawrence Tureaud was the youngest of 12 children, and they all grew up with his parents in a three-bedroom house in Chicago. After excelling in wrestling at high school, even winning a couple of championships, he decided to enlist in the army in the early 70s.

Bodyguard to the stars

After leaving the army, Lawrence took advantage of his strong physique to work as a bodyguard. In this role, he protected the likes of Diana Ross and Muhammad Ali, who inspired Lawrence to build the Mr. T alter ego. At this time, he was also approached to do odd jobs, like finding missing people and being a hitman!

Rocky III

Mr. T is also famous for 'Rocky III' (1982). In this threequel, he played the iconic Clubber Lang. The movie spawned his most famous catchphrase: ''I pity the fool.''

'The A-Team'

Starring as the antagonist in Rocky III helped Mr. T get his role on 'The A-Team', and he played BA for 97 episodes.

 

 

The long shadow of BA

Playing such an iconic character is both a blessing and a curse. The downside is that it is easy to get typecast.  In 'T&T' (1988), he plays a character who is convicted of a crime he did not commit. Sounds familiar, right?

 

A Wrestlemania classic

To escape being typecast, Mr. T pursued opportunities off-screen and even fought Hulk Hogan in Wrestlemania.

A highly requested image

Mr. T has also been able to take advantage of his image in adverts. Even today, he can use his charm to sell products. At the height of his advertising career, he was making $5  million a year.

 

Be somebody

In 1984, he made 'Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool!'. Over the course of its 60-minute duration, Mr. T advises children on how to manage their emotions and respect their mothers. Singing and dancing also feature quite heavily.

The year that changed everything

But then 1995 came and everything changed. Mr. T was diagnosed with lymphoma that kept him retired for almost six years. "I received chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, I had relapses and I lost my hair completely," he recalled in an interview with Fox News.

Six years later, a comeback

'Not Another Teen Movie' (2001) marked his comeback, though he has decreased his workload substantially since making his return to acting.

 

From live action to animation

The actor has voiced characters in animated series such as 'The Simpsons', 'Johnny Bravo' and the videogame 'Celebrity Deathmatch' (2003). Perhaps his biggest voice acting credit is 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' (2009), where he played Earl Deveraux.

In the Hall of Fame

In 2014, he entered the WWE Hall of Fame. This was a huge honour for Mr. T, especially when we consider the fact that he did not spend too many years in Wrestlemania.

 

Dancing is not his thing

2017 saw him participate in 'Dancing with the Stars', but dancing was not his forte. Unsurprisingly, he was kicked off after only three weeks.

 

Believer and social practitioner

Currently, the actor is a regular on social media, where he participates in Catholic sermons and shares passages from the Bible.

No more gold

Mr. T based his famous hairstyle on Mandikan warriors from West Africa, as a way for him to honour his African heritage. He was also famous for wearing gold, but after helping out in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he took the decision to stop wearing his iconic jewellery.

Nowadays, people probably associate him with Snickers, rather than his fashion.

Supportive and committed

At 70, we can say that Mr. T does not have a 'bad attitude'. Rather, his regular charity events leave us in no doubt that he's a good guy.

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