Like sands through the hourglass, so are the lives of celebrities, transforming from fresh-faced young things to showbiz veterans before our eyes. Conventional wisdom says that even the brightest stars lose their luster over the years — but some celebrities, like a fine wine, seem to get better with time. You tell us — did stars like Madonna, Nicole Kidman, and Brad Pitt look better when they were spring chickens? Or did they actually grow more appealing as they got older?
ai???I pity the fool!ai??? An iconic figure of the 1980s known for his signature Mohawk, gold chains, and tough guy act, Lawrence Tureaud was born in Chicago, Illinois as the youngest of 12 children in 1952. Growing up in a poverty-stricken community and often witnessing murders and a long list of other crimes, the young Tureaud was determined to rise above and proved to be a standout athlete in high school, which earned him a football scholarship to Prairie View A&M University. Expelled after his first year, he joined the army where he blossomed as ai???Top Traineeai??? and squad leader.
Rising the ranks of the army fairly quickly, Tureaud was eventually discharged and set out to join the NFLai??i??s Green Bay Packers but didnai??i??t make the cut due to a knee injury. He then put his massive tough-guy stature to use when he worked as a bouncer and reinvented himself as the jewelry-wearing Mr. T. As luck would have it, Mr. T was so successful at being a bouncer that the hotshots in Hollywood came calling and he transitioned from bouncer to bodyguard for high profile clients like Muhammad Ali, Michael Jackson, and Diana Ross. Before he accepted any client, however, he made one promise. ai???I did everything except guarantee peopleai??i??s lives, but I guarantee you that I will give my life protecting yours.ai???
Mr. T continued to build his reputation and eventually appeared in Tough-Man competitions where he adopted his now-famous Mohawk haircut that the world knows and loves. Because of his growing publicity, Sylvester Stallone discovered Mr. T and asked him to join him for Rocky III as Rockyai??i??s opponent. Looking back, Mr. T says that Clubber Lang was his absolute favorite role because it was ai???basically my life story. He wanted a shot, and people said he wouldnai??i??t make it. I was in awe when they asked me to be in Rocky III because a couple years before I had watched Rocky I and II.ai???
Thanks to Rocky III, Mr. T became an overnight sensation and was cast as Bosco ai???B.A.ai??? Baracus on the popular television series, The A-Team, in 1983. Spending the next four years on the series while making appearances on specials like Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, Mr. T built his reputation as one of the biggest tough guys in all of Hollywood and made his way to the world of professional wrestling.
With the timing perfect, Mr. T was part of the first two WrestleMania events ever hosted, which likely wouldnai??i??t have become an annual event without Mr. T headlining early on. But, thatai??i??s not just us talking! Hulk Hogan even said that Mr. T saved the event, which is now in its 32nd year. For his contributions to the wrestling industry, Mr. T was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in March 2014.
Although the 1990s and 2000s saw Mr. Tai??i??s career as an actor dwindle with minor appearances on shows like Blossom, Saturday Night Live and Inspector Gadget, he remained a public figure. In 2005, the world watched in surprise as Mr. T relinquished his iconic gold chains citing religious reasons after Hurricane Katrina ignited deep emotions in the well-known tough guy. ai???As a Christian, when I saw other people lose their lives and lose their land and propertyai??i??I felt that it would be a sin before God for me to continue wearing my gold.ai???
In the years since Mr. T has had his own cereal and cartoon series in addition to hosting the BBCai??i??s Worldai??i??s Craziest Fools from 2011 to 2013 that documented criminals failing to get the job done. There were even talks that he would have his own show called I Pity the Fool but none of the major networks expressed any interest.
Today, the 64-year-old tough guy is still as intimidating as ever although heai??i??s enjoying a much quieter life out of the spotlight and with his children grown. Mr. T was thrilled to see his oldest son earn his bachelorai??i??s degree and even bragged to his rival of 30 years, Rowdy Roddy Piper. Bonding over both their sonsai??i?? accomplishments, the two finally (and miraculously) buried the hatchet months before Piperai??i??s death in 2015.
But, Mr. Tai??i??s pride doesnai??i??t stop with his son. With showbiz obviously running in the family, Mr. Tai??i??s daughter, Erica, walked away from her job as a special needs teacher to pursue her dreams as a stand-up comedian, a decision that upset her father who was proud of her decade-long tenure in the classroom. ai???He wants me to be a nice teacher and get married and have kids. He doesnai??i??t want me to do entertainment at all, so he hasnai??i??t come to any of my shows, but heai??i??s aware that I do it.ai??? As for his future in entertainment, Mr. T is certainly looking for any opportunities that come his way with reality television at the top of his list.
ai???Ay oh, oh ay! Whoai??i??s the boss?ai??? Born in Brooklyn, New York to a bookkeeper and a trash collector, Tony Danza wasnai??i??t much of a student as a child but he excelled as an athlete especially when it came to wrestling. Admittedly barely scraping by in high school, he attended the University of Dubuque on a wrestling scholarship and earned a degree in history in 1972. Hoping to find his niche as a professional boxer, Danzaai??i??s friends jokingly entered him in the Golden Gloves tournament where he knocked out six opponents in the first round. His career as a professional boxer was born.
In the midst of training for his next match at a local gym, Danza was discovered by a television producer who, on the spot, asked him if he had any interest in becoming an actor. Knowing any future in boxing would be short-lived, the young New Yorker expressed an interest and was immediately cast as Tony Banta, a cab driver and part-time boxer in the new television comedy Taxi in 1978. Instantly winning over audiences with his charm and good looks, Danza spent the next five years on the series and even took home a Golden Globe for his performance.
As a new name in Hollywood, Danza made numerous film and television appearances throughout the 1980s including Cannonball Run II and The Love Boat before he landed his second starring role in Whoai??i??s The Boss? Cast as retired baseball star Tony Micelli turned housekeeper and single father, Danza once again wowed audiences between 1984 and 1992. In the meantime, he was winning hearts with family-friendly films like Angels in the Outfield.
During Whoai??i??s The Boss? Danza had little to worry about when it came to job security. ai???To be on a show where you donai??i??t even have to check the ratings; you just know it was going to be in the top 10. And it was like that for years,ai??? Danza said. ai???That feeling is so rarefiedai??i??I havenai??i??t had that kind of success where you could feel that way in quite some time.ai???
Admitting that a skiing accident after the series put his acting career on hold for over a year, Danza said it gave him the opportunity to pursue other ventures in the entertainment industry. One of those ventures came to fruition in 1997 when he debuted on The Tony Danza Show. In a long line of brief stints and minor appearances, he also starred in The Practice in 1999 and Family Law from 2000 to 2002 until launching his own daytime talk show in 2004 called The Tony Danza Show. Sound familiar?
Having dabbled on Broadway in addition to making his mark in the music industry as a 1950s-style crooner with his debut albumai??i??The House I Lived Inai??i??released in 2002, there isnai??i??t much Danza hasnai??i??t done in his career. But, with over three years since heai??i??s been spotted on the silver screen and with his last television credit coming in 2016 on an episode of Comedy Centralai??i??s Broad City after a six-year hiatus, many are wondering if the beloved Tony is finally slowing down.
The first to admit that heai??i??s enjoying a much quieter life these days, the 65-year-old retired boxer has made a huge career change after getting back to his original dreams of teaching. Earning his bachelorai??i??s degree in history in 1972, Danza has finally seen his hard work pay off (despite being a lousy student in his younger days) on his own reality show on A&E called Teach, which chronicles the year Danza spent teaching high school students in Philadelphia. After the experience, he published Iai??i??d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High.
Getting the chance to fulfill every dream heai??i??s ever had or so it seems, Danza has even found time to take the New York City stage where heai??i??s starred in an extended performance of Standards & Stories. But, nothing compares to his time on networked television, which is exactly what led him to shoot a pilot series with comedian Sebastian Maniscalco. After NBC declined to pick the series up, Danza remarked, ai???Iai??i??m sad that I didnai??i??t get the job. I miss the job. But on the other hand, I have so many other things that I want to do, so it gives me a chance to do that.ai???
An accomplished tap dancer of 40 years, Danza is making incredible waves on the stage as he continues to wow the world with his many talentsai??i??after all, heai??i??s a boxer, actor, teacher, dancer, and singer! All that aside, he spends the majority of his time in The Big Apple and wouldnai??i??t have it any other way since it brings him closer to his son, Marc, and his daughters, Gina, Katherine, and Emily. And, while he may be ai???The Bossai??? on television, to his kids, heai??i??s simply ai???Dad.ai???