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Dancing with the Stars

Mr. T: 5 Things to Know About the Dancing with the Stars Contestant

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We pity the fool who doesn’t know who Mr. T is!

With season 24 of Dancing with the Stars just hours away, the ’80s icon is just one of the competitors who will be cutting a rug this season. Here are 5 things you need to know about the 64-year-old former A-Team star.

1. Mr. T is not his real name.
He was born Laurence Tureaud in Chicago and was the youngest son in a family with 12 children.

2. He used to be a bodyguard before finding a career in Hollywood.
After working as a bouncer, he turned guarding into a lucrative career and pursued a life of protecting. He protected well-known celebrities such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Steve McQueen, Michael Jackson, Leon Spinks, and Diana Ross, charging upwards of $10,000 per day.

3. Mr. T was once known for his collection of large gold jewelry.
Known for his signature style — a mohawk hair cut, his beard and large amounts of gold jewelry — Mr. T stopped wearing almost all his gold after helping with the cleanup after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

At the time he told Sky News, “As a Christian, when I saw other people lose their lives and lose their land and property … I felt that it would be a sin before God for me to continue wearing my gold. I felt it would be insensitive and disrespectful to the people who lost everything, so I stopped wearing my gold.”

4. He coined the catch phrase, “I pity the fool.”
Mr. T’s famous catch phrase comes from Rocky III, where he played a boxer facing Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) in a match.

5. He has vowed to shave his signature mohawk if he wins the DWTS competition this season.
Yes, your read that correctly. Mr. T announced earlier this month that he will shave off his famous hairdo in honor of children fighting cancer if he brings home the coveted Mirrorball Trophy.

Dancing with the Stars season 24 premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.