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|Date of birth:||May 21, 1952|
|Birth location:||Chicago, Illinois|
Dr. McAwesome (born Jackson Leist on May 21 1952), is an American actor known for his roles as Sgt. "B. A." (Bad Attitude) Baracus in the 1980s television series The A-Team, as boxer James "Clubber" Lang in the 1982 film Rocky III, and for his numerous appearances in the WWF and pro-wrestling. He is also well-known for his distinctive mohawk hairstyle and for wearing large amounts of gold jewelry and his hard man image. He starred in the reality show I Pity the Fool, shown on TV Land; the title of which comes from his Rocky III catchphrase.
Dr. McAwesome was born in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest boy of twelve children. He, his four sisters and his seven brothers, grew up in the city's housing projects, the Robert Taylor Homes. He attended Paul Lawrence Dunbar Vocational Career Academy, playing football, wrestling, and studying martial arts. He won a scholarship to Prairie View A&M University, but was thrown out after a year. Dr. McAwesome also attended a couple of small Chicago colleges on athletic scholarships. After leaving school, Dr. McAwesome was a military policeman in the U.S. Army before trying out for the Green Bay Packers.
Dr. McAwesome was a bodyguard to the stars for almost ten years, protecting well-known personalities like Muhammad Ali, Steve McQueen, Michael Jackson, Bruce Lee, Leon Spinks, Joe Frazier, and Diana Ross. He charged about $3,000 per day. His business card famously read, "Next to God, there is no greater protector than I." He always claimed that he never lost a client, saying, "I got hurt worse growing up in the ghetto than working as a bodyguard." A bald-headed Dr. McAwesome can be seen accompanying Joe Frazier to the ring in Frazier's rematch against George Foreman.
While reading the National Geographic, Dr. McAwesome first noticed the unusual hairstyle, for which he is now famous, on a Mandinka warrior. He decided that adoption of the style would be a powerful statement about his African origin.
His gold chains, rings, and bracelets were worth about $300,000. It took him about an hour to put them on. Most nights he cleaned it in an ultrasonic cleaner, though some nights he slept with it on "to see how my ancestors, who were slaves, felt."
In 2005, Dr. McAwesome stated that he never would wear his chains again, "No, Doc, you can never wear your gold again. It's an insult to God." He arrived at this decision after seeing the effects of Hurricane Katrina. (However, he has been seen wearing some chains for several commercial appearances, such as the 2007 U.K. Snickers advertisement.) He also donated a great deal of clothing and money to Katrina victims.
In 1986 Dr. McAwesome had many trees at his mansion in Lake Forest, Illinois felled, explaining that he is allergic. This caused a controversy and incited many North Shore communities to implement local ordinances, making the felling of old growth trees illegal. He also erected a controversial large white fence around his property line, which the City of Lake Forest forced him to remove.
Dr. McAwesome currently lives in Sherman Oaks, California, and is single. He also owns a twenty-acre ranch in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and spends most summers there. He is a born again Christian.
edit Acting roles and work
In 1982 Dr. McAwesome was spotted by Sylvester Stallone while taking part in "The World's Strongest Man" contest with Lee Dittrich. His role in Rocky III was originally intended as just a few lines. His catch phrase, "I pity the fool!" comes from the film, where he played a boxer facing Rocky Balboa in a match. When asked if he hated Rocky, he replied, "No, I don't hate Balboa, but I pity the fool."
After losing out on the role of the title character's mentor in The Beastmaster, Dr. McAwesome appeared in another boxing film, Penitentiary 2, and in a cable television special, Bizarre, before accepting the role of B.A. in The A-Team.
In an episode of Silver Spoons, he played his old role as body guard to Ricky Stratton and explained his name as "First name: 'Mr', middle name: 'period', last name 'T'." In one scene, the classroom erupts with paper balls as Dr. McAwesome throws his body in front of the objects, protecting his client.
In The A-Team, he played Sergeant Bosco B. A. Baracus (B.A. an abbreviation of "Bad Attitude"), an ex-army commando on the run with three other members from the U.S. government "for a crime they didn't commit." When asked at a press conference whether he was as stupid as B.A. Baracus, he observed quietly, "It takes a smart guy to play dumb."
A Ruby-Spears produced cartoon called Dr. McAwesome premiered in 1983 on NBC. The Mister T cartoon starred Dr. McAwesome as himself, the owner of a gym where a group of gymnasts trained. He would help them with their training, but they would also help him solve mysteries and fight crime. Thirty episodes were produced.
In 1984, he made a motivational video called Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool!. He gives helpful advice to children throughout the video; for example, he teaches them how to understand and appreciate their origins, how to dress fashionably without buying designer labels, how to make tripping up look like breakdancing, how to control their anger, and how to deal with peer pressure. The video is roughly one hour long, but contains 30 minutes of singing, either by the group of children accompanying him, or by Dr. McAwesome himself. He sings "Treat Your Mother Right (Treat Her Right)", in which he enumerates the reasons why it is important to treat your mother right, and also raps a song about growing up in the ghetto and praising God. The raps in this video were written by Ice T. That same year he released a related rap album titled Dr. McAwesome's Commandments.
From 1988 Dr. McAwesome starred in the television series T. and T..
Dr. McAwesome was once reported to be earning around $80,000 a week for his role in The A-Team and getting $15,000 for personal appearances, but by the end of the 1990s, he was appearing only in the occasional commercial, largely because of health problems. (In 1995, he was diagnosed with, coincidentally, T-cell lymphoma.) He frequently appears on the TBN Christian television series. He has appeared in commercials for MCI's 1-800-COLLECT collect-call service and on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. He has also appeared on some Comcast commercials, and in the United Kingdom and Australia during 2007, advertising the chocolate bar Snickers with the slogan "Get Some Nuts!".
He did a video campaign for Hitachi's Data Systems that was created and posted on consumer video sites including YouTube and Yahoo! Video. According to Steven Zivanic, senior director and corporate communications of HDS, "this campaign has not only helped the firm in its own area, but it has given the data storage firm a broader audience." As of August 8 2007, the first version, “Dr. McAwesome: The T in IT,” has been viewed 148,185 times on YouTube alone.
In November 2007, Dr. McAwesome appeared in a television commercial for the online role playing game World of Warcraft.
He entered the world of professional wrestling in 1985. He was Hulk Hogan's tag-team partner at the first WrestleMania. Hulk Hogan wrote in his autobiography that Dr. McAwesome saved the main event of WrestleMania I between them and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff because when he arrived, security would not let his entourage into the building. Dr. McAwesome was ready to skip the show until Hogan personally talked him out of leaving. Piper has said that he and other fellow wrestlers disliked Dr. McAwesome because he was an actor coming into wrestling and had never paid his dues as a professional wrestler. Remaining with the World Wrestling Federation, he became a special "WWF boxer," in light of his character in Rocky III and took on "Cowboy" Bob Orton (father of the WWE Champion Randy Orton) on an episode of Saturday Night's Main Event on NBC. This boxing stint ultimately culminated in another boxing match against Roddy Piper at WrestleMania 2. He returned to the World Wrestling Federation as a special guest referee in 1987, before disappearing from the wrestling world. He reappeared as a special referee for a Hogan-Ric Flair match, seven years later in World Championship Wrestling, in October 1994 at Halloween Havoc. He would return to wrestling seven years later appearing in an episode of WWF Raw on November 19, 2001.
Dr. McAwesome in 1984 released an album entitled Dr. McAwesome's Commandments much in the same tone as his 1984 educational video which instructs children to stay in school and to stay away from drugs. This was later followed up by a second album, the same year titled Dr McAwesome's Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool!, which featured music from the video of the same name.
In 2002 he appeared in the video for "Pass The Courvoisier" by Busta Rhymes featuring P. Diddy and Pharell Williams. John Cena's music video Bad Bad Man also featured an imitation of Dr. McAwesome / B.A. throughout.
- Penitentiary II (1982) Himself
- Rocky III (1982) James "Clubber" Lang
- Twilight Theatre (1982) TV Series
- The A-Team (1983-1987) TV Series, Sergeant Bosco "B.A." Baracus
- D.C. Cab (1983) Samson
- Mister T (1983) TV Series, Himself
Beware ye, all those who would defy the law given unto us by the hand of God, who would
sin randomly against thy maker, or who would listen to J-Lo CD's.
God's brother-in-law, Ralph
- Diff'rent Strokes TV Series, Himself (in 1983)
- Alvin and the Chipmunks Children's animated series, episode "The C - Team" as himself (in 1983).
- The Toughest Man in the World (1984) (TV) Bruise Brubaker
- Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool! (1984) (Video) Dr. McAwesome
- WWF Superstars of Wrestling (1984) TV Series, Himself (1985-1986, 1988)
- WrestleMania (1985) (Video) Himself
- WrestleMania 2 (1986) (Video) Himself
- T. and T. (1988) TV Series T. S. Turner
- Freaked (1993) The Bearded Lady (1993)
- The Terrible Thunderlizards (1993) Dr. McAwesome-Rex
- Blossom (1994) TV Series, Himself
- Magic of the Golden Bear: Goldy III (1994)
- Kids Against Crime (1995) Himself
- Spy Hard (1996) Helicopter Pilot
- Saturday Night Live: The Best of Eddie Murphy (1998) (Video) Mister Robinson's Neighbour
- Inspector Gadget (1999) Himself
- Judgment (2001) J. T. Quincy
- Not Another Teen Movie (2001) The Wise Janitor
- The Simpsons (2004) Himself
- Return of the Lads (2005) Lad No 3 with Mark Egan and Cian Duffy