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The Durable Laurence Tureaud Brand Turns 61

Along with our own Sheila Mikles, today the actor Laurence Tureaud, best known as Mr. T and one of the more enduring brands of the past quarter century, turns 61.

Throughout his brilliant lifetime he’s built a durable brand around being an award-winning Army drill sergeant, shilling Snickers, participating in  in NBC’s “America’s Toughest Bouncer,” working as a bodyguard, having a reality TV show, teaching us how to wear jewelry, a cartoon series, personally branded breakfast cereal, making bombs out of toothpicks and powdered doughnuts in the “A-Team,” telling us how to treat our mothers, and of course, pitying many, many fools.

Indeed, while William Katt may have played the “Greatest American Hero” — Mr. T lives it. He lives it very day.

Here’s wishing both Sheila and Laurence a happy birthday. And thanking Sheila for her rock’n’roll spirt, while stepping back to appreciate the personal brand that “T” first built in Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes housing projects as one of 12 children — and time after time bringing it back to us with wisdom, humor, powerful biceps, and rugged good looks for all of us to enjoy.

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