Mr.T

The various members of the A-Team brought their own unique skill sets and personalities. Apart from the incredible action - the A-Team was really a character driven show. Let's take a look at the members of the team!

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George Peppard of the A-Team

George Peppard - Hannibal Smith

He secured a major role early in his career when he starred alongside Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), although he is probably more familiar among younger viewers for his role as Col. John "Hannibal" Smith in the cult 1980s television show The A-Team, where he is the cigar-smoking leader of a renegade commando squadron. Early life George Peppard, Jr. was born in Detroit, Michigan. The son of building contractor George Peppard, Sr. and opera singer Vernelle Rohrer, he graduated from Dearborn High School in Dearborn, Michigan. Peppard enlisted in the Marine Corps and rose to the rank of Sergeant in the Artillery division, leaving the Marines at the end of his first tour. He studied Civil Engineering at Purdue University where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi. He also attended Carnegie Mellon University.

George Peppard made his stage debut in 1949 at the Pittsburgh Playhouse. He then enrolled in The Actors Studio in New York. His first work on Broadway lead to his first television appearance, with a young Paul Newman, in the The United States Steel Hour (1956). Peppard’s Broadway appearance in "The Pleasure of His Company" (1958) led to a MGM contract. Prior to a strong film debut in The Strange One (1957), he was discovered playing Robert Mitchum's illegitimate son in the popular melodrama Home from the Hill (1960). His good looks, elegant manner and superior acting skills landed Peppard his most famous film role as Paul Varjak in Breakfast at Tiffany's with Audrey Hepburn. This role boosted him to super star status from its debut in 1961 through the late 60's. Peppard later developed a tendency to choose tough guy roles in big, ambitious pictures where he was somewhat overshadowed by ensemble casts. An example being in "The Carpetbaggers" (1964) and his strong military role as German pilot Bruno Stachel, an obsessively competitive officer pilot from humble beginnings who challenges the Prussian aristocracy during World War I in The Blue Max (1966). Due to the complications of alcoholism, his career led to a string of B films by the early 70's . Among these was the 1970 western Cannon for Cordoba, in which Peppard played the steely Captain Rod Douglas, who has been put in charge of gathering a group of soldiers to take part in a dangerous mission into Mexico. Although it also featured the talents of actors such as Pete Duel and Nico Minardos, it is not among Peppard's best remembered efforts.

Peppard moved to television with a leading role in the TV series Banacek (1972 - 1974), (part of the NBC Mystery Movie series). He appeared in Doctors' Hospital (1975) and several other television films. Still interested in film but with the offered film roles becoming increasingly uninteresting, he acted in, directed and produced the drama "Five Days from Home" (1979).

George Peppard reemerged as a television star for his role as Col. John "Hannibal" Smith in the cult show The A-Team, acting along side Mr. T, Dirk Benedict, and Dwight Schultz. The A-Team was a crack team of renegade commandos on the run from the military for a crime they did not commit, while working as soldiers of fortune. John “Hannibal” Smith was the leader of the A-Team, distinguished by his cigar-smoking, black leather gloves, disguises, and catch phrase, "I love it when a plan comes together." The show ran on NBC from 1983-1986 and lasted 5 seasons. It made George Peppard known to a younger generation.

Peppard married five times, and was the father of three children: Helen Davies — 1954–1964: two children, Bradford and Julie Elizabeth Ashley — 1966–1972: his co-star in The Carpetbaggers. One son, Christian Sherrry Boucher — 1975–1979 Alexis Adams — 1984–1986 Laura Taylor — 1992–1994: was a banker in West Palm Beach, Florida when they met.

Peppard finally gave up drinking in 1978 and spent his later years trying to help other alcoholics enter into recovery. A life long smoker, Peppard was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1992, and resultantly quit. This also forced his retirement from acting, and being passionate about politics as a life long Democrat, he spent his final years championing health care reform. He died of pneumonia on 8 May, 1994 in Los Angeles, California at the age of 65. He is buried in Northview Cemetery in Dearborn, Michigan.

 

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Mr.T

Mr. T - B.A. Baracus

Born Laurence Tureaud, Mr. T grew up in the tough southside ghettos of Chicago. The youngest of 12 children, and raised by a single mother, T began pumping iron at an early age as a means of survival. Determined to succeed at something, he became a champion high-school wrestler and a football star. Soon after his graduation from high school, he joined the US Army. When a knee injury kept him from joining the Green Bay Packers, T became a bodyguard for the likes of Muhammad Ali. Diana Ross and Michael Jackson (among others). T adopted his signature Mandinka hairstyle in the mid '70s, while he was working as a bouncer in-between bodyguard gigs. Spotted by Sylvester Stallone while competing in the "Worlds Toughest Bodyguard" segment on TV's "Games People Play," T was invited to try out for the part of Clubber Lang in "Rocky 3." Stallone was so impressed he expanded the role. If "Rocky 3" made him a star, "The A-Team" made him an icon. Several TV action series and movies followed, including a cartoon called "Mr. T" which ran for three seasons on Saturday mornings in the mid '80s. He also was featured on his own Mr. T Cereal. The toughest battle of his life came when he developed cancer in the '90s. He seems to have won the fight and appears today in hilarious Snickers and World of Warcraft commercials.

 

 

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Dirk Benedict as Faceman

Dirk Benedict - Templeton "Faceman" Peck

Dirk Benedict was born in Montana on March 1st, 1945. He was raised in the country, far away from anything connected with movies or acting. He gathered his first experiences in acting (on a dare) in a college production of "Showboat" where he got the main part. His father, a lawyer, died when Dirk was 18, which was hard for him to take. While working at "Georgia, Georgia" in Sweden, he made the first contact with a macrobiotic diet and changed his eating habits drastically. He was 26 at that time. A few years later, doctors found that he had cancer of the prostate. He refused to accept the usual treatment and moved away to a secluded cottage. Dirk managed to cure himself from cancer by following the rules of his macrobiotic diet. When he got his part as "Starbuck" in Battlestar Galactica in 1978, the doctors stated that he was in good health. Dirk's main successes were "Battlestar Galactica" and the TV-Series "The A-Team" in which he played "Templeton - The Face - Peck". He is married to actress Toni Hudson and has two sons (George and Roland). 

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Dwight Schultz as Murdock

Dwight Schultz - Howling Mad Murdock

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Dwight Schultz went on to earn a BA in Theater Arts from Baltimore's Townson State University. His early work was primarily on stage, and won the "Drama-Logue" award for his role in "The Crucifix of Blood" (starring Charlton Heston.) Dwight also worked odd jobs in New York while honing his craft. He has moonlighted as everything from waiter and door-to-door salesman to officer of the New York Bureau of Pest Control. Roles on TV shows like "Chips" and "Hill Street Blues" helped heat up Dwight's day job, and a co-starring role with Kate Jackson in the TV Movie "Thin Ice" led to his audition for "The A-Team." Though "Howling Mad" Murdock is Dwight Schult's best known role he has gone on to parts in "Lois & Clark," and "Star Trek: Voyager" - Dwight also hosts a conservative talk radio show.