Thursday, October 12, 2006

New Reality Show for Mr. T

"I Pity the Fool!"

Pop culture icon Mr. T is back in action to put the “T” in TV Land when the network debuts the new six-part reality series entitled "I Pity The Fool" in October 2006.

This new TV Land Original Production is a Dr. Phil-meets-Tony-Robbins type reality show in which Mr. T stars in the unlikely role of social scientist, dispensing his own advice — in classic T style.

Born Lawrence Tureaud on May 21, 1952 in the tough, south side of Chicago, Illinois, he was one of twelve children raised by his single mother in a three bedroom apartment. He realized early on that he had both the mental and physical strength to persevere through the tough times, and to this day he says he “lived in the ghetto but the ghetto doesn't live in me.”

Lawrence received scholarships to attend various universities after his high school graduation but decided that serving his country was his calling. After a stint as a military policeman in the Army, he was able to realize his lifelong dream of being a professional athlete. He tried out for the Green Bay Packers but saw his dreams dashed when he suffered a debilitating knee injury, ending any hopes for a professional football career.

It was after serving in the Army that he made a metamorphosis and transformed his entire persona – inside and out. He changed his name officially from his given name to Mr. T and also changed his look. While reading an issue of National Geographic, he spotted an unusual hairstyle called the African Mandinka and adopted it as his signature cut. Mr. T used his Army military experience and his commanding presence to begin a career as a bodyguard, protecting some of the biggest names in boxing, from Muhammad Ali to Leon Spinks.

In his spare time, he worked as a doorman at Dingbats in Chicago, where it was reported that he obtained his signature gold chains from the “disorderly” people he encountered. At the time it was estimated that the gold chains were worth more than $300,000.

It was in 1982 that Mr. T's long and illustrious career began. Academy Award winning director/actor Sylvester Stallone spotted Mr. T while he was participating in “The World's Toughest Bouncer” contest which aired on NBC's The Games People Play. Stallone cast him in Rocky III as Clubber Lang, a role that originally had a few lines, but after working with T, the role was greatly expanded. It was from that role that he was chosen to star as Sgt. Bosco “B.A.” Baracus in the highly successful TV series, The ATeam, which ran on NBC from 1983-87. I Pity The Fool is not Mr. T's first foray into giving advice.

He made a motivational video in 1984 entitled Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool in which he gave helpful advice to children — teaching them about their roots and how to control their anger. Later he jumped into the entertainment arena, literally, when he partnered with Hulk Hogan for Wrestlemania I and II. Since then, he has served as a referee for several matches over the past 10 years.

In 1995, he was diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoma but today, over ten years later, is healthy, strong and cancer-free. After last year's Hurricane Katrina disaster, Mr. T. was so deeply touched by the plight of the displaced Mississippi and New Orleans natives that he took his signature chains off for good – a sign of solidarity with these humble and proud victims. In addition, he donated a considerable amount of clothing and money to charities that benefited the Katrina victims.
From our content partners WXIA in Atlanta


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