Mr. T became a household name in the 1980s thanks to his role as the charismatic Vietnam veteran B.A. Baracus in The A-Team. Of course, the bodyguard-turned-actor wasn’t born with such a simple, yet effective moniker. Here’s a look at how and why he decided to adopt his familiar alias.
The A-Team star Mr. T’s first brush with the showbiz world came when he began his career as a bodyguard. As well as protecting clients ranging from preachers to prostitutes, he also used his imposing size to protect various celebrities. These included pop superstars Michael Jackson and Diana Ross, champion boxers Joe Frazer and Muhammad Ali and Hollywood legend Steve McQueen.
In an interview with USA Today in 2016, Mr. T said that he really liked his role protecting the rich and famous. He said, “I enjoyed putting my life on the line. And when they’d say, ‘Thank you, Mr. T?’ Oh man, that was, oh, that was the greatest, that they appreciated what I did. Then I was happy. And that’s it.”