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Mr. T Movies and TV Shows: We Pity the Fool Who Doesn’t Check This Out!

From 'Rocky III' to 'The A-Team' and beyond, come and experience the might of T!'

Ask Mr. T what the secret to his success is and his answer is quite simple. “I never met a camera I didn’t like,” the bouncer and bodyguard-turned actor once told the British TV show Bring Back the A-Team. And these Mr. T movies and TV shows make that clear!

“There’s just a certain chemistry that I have that draws people to me. Maybe they’re awed in my presence, or maybe they like me,” he further explained to the Alternative Press. “Like I said, not being cocky or conceited, everything I touch turns to gold. I know if I do my best, God’ll do the rest.”

Speaking of gold, the star will forever be instantly recognizable for not only his trademark Mohawk hairstyle — inspired by West Africa’s Mandinka warriors, about whom he read in National Geographic — but the generous amount of jewelry he wore around his neck as well. That bling, though, held a deeper meaning for the actor, who was born Laurence Tureaud and grew up in a housing project of the South Side of Chicago.

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man with gold chains; mr tv movies and tv shows
Mr. T (1984)Bob Riha Jr / Contributor / Getty

The gold jewelry “was symbolic of my African heritage,” he told Bring Back the A-Team. “When my Black ancestors were brought over to the United States from Africa, they were shackled by their neck, their wrists, their ankles in steel chains. I turned those steel chains to gold to symbolize the fact that I’m still a slave, only my price tag is higher.”

The high school athlete and martial-arts student, despite the many challenges his rough neighborhood presented, always seemed to know his worth. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in the mid 70s, where, in a cycle of 6,000 recruits, he was named “Top Trainee” in 1975. He was eventually assigned to the Military Police Corps, which helped him in his post-military career as a nightclub bouncer.

Later on, after a move from Chicago to Los Angeles, he became a highly sought-after bodyguard, soon finding himself in the same circles as celebs such as Muhammad Ali, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and Steve McQueen, among others.

two men fighting
Mr T. and Sylvester Stallone in Rocky III (1982)Michael Ochs Archives / Handout / Getty

An appearance on an NBC competition show titled America’s Toughest Bouncer caught the eye of none other than Sylvester Stallone, who felt that Mr. T would be the perfect addition to the continuing saga of his Rocky franchise.

In his book Mr. T: The Man with the Gold: An Autobiography, the star writes that, before one segment of the program, he told co-host Bryant Gumbel “I just feel sorry for the guy I have to box; I just feel real sorry for him,” which was later tweaked by Stallone for Mr. T’s trademark line as Clubber Lang in Rocky III: “I pity the fool.”

As his film and movie career skyrocketed, Mr. T made small appearances in the film The Blues Brothers, as well as on TV shows such as Diff’rent Strokes and Silver Spoons. After he became a bonafide superstar with his starring role on NBC’s The A-Team in the 80s, he later made guest appearances on Mr. Belvedere, Blossom, Martin, and Suddenly Susan, while lending his voice to his likeness on several animated series, such as The Simpsons and Johnny Bravo.

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Mr T. and Hulk Hogan (2005)John Shearer / Staff / Getty

The actor also played up his tough-guy image in the surreal world of professional wrestling starting in 1985, partnering with Hulk Hogan and battling the likes of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. He was even inducted into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014.

After the devastation of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, Mr. T scaled back on wearing the showy jewelry sported in his heyday. “As a Christian, when I saw other people lose their lives and their land and property… I felt that it would be a sin before God for me to continue wearing [it],” he said in 2009. “I felt it would be unnecessary and disrespectful to the people who lost everything, so I stopped wearing my gold.”

Still, the father of three children, who just turned 72 on May 21, remains a talent who shines bright enough on his own, onscreen or off. Most recently, he even starred opposite Tony Romo in a 2024 Super Bowl commercial for Skechers!

At this point, let’s take a look at some Mr. T movies and TV shows featuring the actor throughout his unique and celebrated career.

Rocky III (1982): Mr. T movies and TV Shows

“I had seen Rocky and Rocky II,” Mr. T noted in his autobiography, “but I just couldn’t believe Sly [Stallone] really wanted me for the part [of Clubber Lang]. I felt like one in a million.”

The experience for the young performer was invaluable. “I was moved by the standing ovation I received from the film crew and cast when Sly announced to everyone [that I had just] completed my last scene in the movie. I want the world to know that it was truly an honor to star in Rocky III with Sly Stallone. And to him I want to say, ‘Thank you for letting me be myself.’”

Mr. T won heaps of praise for the role, with SlashFilm noting in 2023 that “Clubber Lang was a force of nature inside the ring and out of it, thanks in no small part to the larger-than-life persona of Mr. T, who gives a legitimately great performance.”

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Stallone gave Mr. T high marks as well. “He was game and was actually willing to take full on body shots in the closing minutes of the fight [scene],” Stallone noted of the then-young actor, in a social media post in 2017. “He was a great character and is a great sport. A true original.”

D.C. Cab (1983)

Mr. T’s career hit the gas in this Joel Schumacher film about — what else? — a group of misfit cabbies in the nation’s capital. Famed movie critic Roger Ebert noted that the film’s star, My Bodyguard’s Adam Baldwin, “and everybody else in the cast [including Gary Busey, Marsha Warfield, Bill Maher, Paul Rodriguez, and Irene Cara] are upstaged by Mr. T, who is billed as a supporting player, but has become such a personality that he dominates every scene he’s in.”

The A-Team (1983 to 1987): Mr. T movies and TV Shows

His role as Sgt. First Class Bosco Albert “B.A.” Baracus — the B.A. standing for Bad Attitude — truly made the actor a megastar — and a household name. “Everybody had A-Team fever, from the little babies all the way up to their grandmothers,” Mr. T has said, despite many critics panning the show. Still, “We knocked Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley off the air and we were killing our competition.… The more bad things [critics] said about us, the more fans we got. I told the press, ‘I don’t care what you say about me as long as you mention my name and spell it right.’”

Mister T (1983 to 1985)

Capitalizing on his A-Team success, the star headlined his own animated series, which found him springing into action with a teen gymnastics squad (the G-Team?) to fight crime all over the world. Its three-season run was “the icing on the cake” of his stardom at the time, the soft-hearted tough guy has said. “From the beginning it was a big hit with all the children, whom I call ‘Mr. T’s Tots.’ … It seems as though I am a modern-day Pied Piper, because everywhere I go, thousands and thousands of children appear.”

The Toughest Man in the World (1984): Mr. T movies and TV Shows

History seemed to be repeating itself for Mr. T when he played nightclub bouncer Bruise Brubaker in this TV movie co-starring Dennis Dugan, Lynne Moody, and Peggy Pope. Its storyline finds Brubaker entering a tough-man contest to win prize money for a struggling Chicago youth center. The film’s title track, a rap song, was included on his 1984 album, Mr. T’s Commandments. People magazine called it “a set of serviceable disco-funk arrangements [on which] T raps about the dangers of such things as drugs, despair, talking to strangers and not respecting your parents.”

Saturday Night Live (1985)

During his pro wrestling years, Mr. T co-hosted the legendary comedy series with Hulk Hogan. “My man T,” Hogan joked during their opening monologue, “promised me that we [all] laugh tonight, because if we don’t laugh tonight, he’s gonna beat up everyone in the cast and everybody in the audience!” Seconds later, a rowdy heckler hilariously gets put into a sleeper hold by Mr. T, who has made various other appearances on the sketch show throughout his career.

“We both had the same mindset of…training hard,” Hogan told the Miami Herald of his cohort in 2014, “and I had the same agent as him…so we became friends through my agent. [Our relationship] just evolved, and we became friends, and we’ve been friends over all these years. One good thing about T is he hasn’t changed a bit. He’s still the same talking, Bible-thumping, crazy guy he always was.”

T. and T. (1988 to 1990): Mr. T movies and TV Shows

This syndicated crime series found the star playing T.S. Turner, who, as the opening of the show explained, was “a city-smart kid fighting his way off the street, until he was framed for a crime he didn’t commit.” Turner teams up with an ambitious lawyer (played by Alexandra Amini) who appeals his case, and she puts him to work as a private detective. In 1990, the series landed on cable’s The Family Channel.

Not Another Teen Movie (2001)

The big guy earned big laughs with his turn as The Wise Janitor in this film that spoofs the teen-movie genre. Mr. T’s janitor in particular is a parody of Charles S. Dutton’s role from 1993’s Rudy, starring Sean Astin. “I’m here to impart knowledge and help youngsters overcome their fears. I also replace the sanitary cakes in the urinals, but right now I’m here to help you get your throw back,” Mr. T’s character says at the beginning of his pep talk to an insecure quarterback (Chris Evans).

The The A-Team’s theme music swells at his speech’s end. “That was a fun movie. The kids need to see Mr. T in another light,” the actor told CinemaBlend. “You’ve got to get yourself out there in different ways. And I like to do stuff like that, because there’s always a new audience out there. And you’ve got to speak to them somehow.”

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (2009): Mr. T movies and TV Shows

“I’m a tough guy, but I’m not a bad guy,” Mr. T said at a press event about his voice acting role as Officer Earl Devereaux in this animated children’s movie, which was loosely based on Judi and Ron Barrett’s 1978 book of the same name.

In the film, “I’m a no-nonsense police officer, I’m a man of authority” who’s trying to keep Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) out of trouble. “And in the end, I’m saving people…so I’m being a hero!” Mr. T also noted that he was proud of his participation in the project “because the whole family can come see the movie. There’s no curse words, no sex. It’s just fun.”

Dancing With the Stars (2017)

The action hero wasn’t tiptoeing around his frustration about being the third competitor voted off the popular reality show. “I say we didn’t get booted off. We gradually eased off,” he stoically stated on Good Morning America alongside his partner, Kym Johnson-Herjavec, the two of them dubbing themselves Team Dancing Fools. “Nobody gonna boot Mr. T off. As a competitor, we left it on the dance floor like we supposed to. We walked off with grace and style.”

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