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HE PITIES THE FOOL
Ron Frehm  /  AP
Bling me no bling: Mr. T arrives at NBC's 75th anniversary celebration in 2002, fully decked out in his trademark chains. The shiny stuff is going away.
updated 7/14/2006 9:00:39 AM ET 2006-07-14T13:00:39

Mr. T has given himself a makeover.

The former television action star shed the piles of gold chains that were his signature look after witnessing the destruction from Hurricane Katrina.

“As a spiritual man, I felt it would be a sin against my God for me to wear all that gold again because I spent a lot of time with the less fortunate,” the actor said Thursday at the Television Critics Association’s summer meeting.

“I saw some, I call it ‘sorry celebrities.’ They’ll go down there and hook up with the people to take a photo-op. I said, ‘How disgusting.’ If you’re not going to go down there with a check and a hammer and a nail to help the people, don’t go down there.”

Mr. T, whose real name is Lawrence Tero, stars in “I Pity the Fool” debuting in October on TV Land. He dispenses advice to viewers who are struggling with life’s problems.

The former star of “The A-Team” said he’s about more than his rough-and-tough image.

“Yes, I am qualified to beat people up. But I am pretty intelligent,” he said. “That’s what throws people off. If you’ve been through something, that gives you an authority that you can speak on certain things. That’s why people relate to me. I pull no punches.”

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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