The original A-Team cast, Pictured: (l-r) Dirk Benedict as Templeton ‘Faceman’ Peck, George Peppard as John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, Dwight Schultz as ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock, Mr. T as B.A. Baracus.
(Photo by: Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank via AP Images)
Mr. T at the height of his A-Team fame.
(Photo by: Herb Ball/NBCU Photo Bank via AP Images)
Former first lady Nancy Regan enjoyed this candid moment with Mr. T (dressed as Santa Claus) at the White House during 1983 Christmas fesitivities.
(White House photo via Reagan Library)
In 1984, Mr. T released his own rap album called Mr. T’s Commandments. The themes? Song titles include: “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and “No Dope No Drugs.” Speaking of strangers, some of those kids look pretty uncomfortable on that album cover.
(Image courtesy of Columbia records)
Wrestling fans may remember that Mr. T co-headlined the original WrestleMania (with Hulk Hogan) at Madison Square Garden before over 19,000 fans in 1985.
(Image courtesy of the WWF)
Mister T was an animated kids show that ran from 1983 to 1986 on NBC. Naturally Mr. T played himself, as a, get this, gymnastics teacher who helps solve mysteries.
(Image courtesy of NBC)
In recent years, T’s frequent cameos on Late Night with Conan O’Brien were comedy gold.
(Image courtesy of NBC)
Mr.T alongside fellow 1980s icon Betty White.
(AP Photo/Rene Macura)
Mr. T smiles, trust us, he doesn’t do this very often.
(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, file)
Probably Mr. T’s most infamous musical moment was a 1984 tribute to moms everywhere called “Treat Your Mother Right.”
(Image courtesy of YouTube)
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It may be hard to believe in retrospect, but circa 1983 – besides Eddie Murphy and the King of Pop – there was no black star who burned brighter than Mr. T.
Hot off his villainous turn in the hit Rocky III and the beloved star of the hit NBC show The A-Team, T was on top of the world. He eventually had his own Saturday morning cartoon, breakfast cereal and album. Slowly but surely his popularity started to wane, but his later appearances in commercials (where he poked fun at his tough guy persona) and battle with illness (he was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in 1995) endeared him to a whole new generation of fans.
As audiences flock to see the big screen adaptation of his action-packed 80s TV staple, theGrio looks back at the original B.A. — Mr.T.