Dancing with the Stars has finalized their cast for Season 24 and, among the celebrities listed to appear this time around, the series will grant A-Team star Mr. T and former American figure skater Nancy Kerrigan the opportunity to compete. Kerrigan and Mr. T both top a list of celebrities hoping to take home the ultimate prize and the DWTS champion title, but, as has been the case with previous seasons, Mr. T and Nancy may benefit just from competing. Many Dancing with the Stars contestants go on to pursue new opportunities, following increased public interest due to their DWTS appearances.
Even If Mr. T Wins, He Will Lose
People shares that Mr. T’s scheduled appearance in the new season of Dancing with the Stars has prompted renewed interest in the actor and his recent activities, as well as a curiosity in his personal vitals. Born Laurence Tureaud, Mr. T was one of 12 children in a Chicago family, who eventually relocated to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career. Starting out, the Dancing with the Stars contestant worked as a bodyguard, keeping such celebrities as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Steve McQueen, Michael Jackson, Leon Spinks, and Diana Ross safe from stalkers, crazed fans, and other threats.
For his services, Mr. T earned $10,000 a day.
Early in his acting career, Mr. T was as known for his immense jewelry collection as he was for his solid physique and trademark Mohawk haircut, but the gold was to be given up years later. Mr. T assisted with the clean-up following Hurricane Katrina, and the actor confesses that he was deeply moved by the tremendous devastation wrought by the hurricane.
“As a Christian, when I saw other people lose their lives and lose their land and property … I felt that it would be a sin before God for me to continue wearing my gold,” said the Dancing with the Stars contestant.
“I felt it would be insensitive and disrespectful to the people who lost everything, so I stopped wearing my gold.”
It was a meaningful gesture, but not the only one. Mr. T has often sacrificed for charitable causes and that’s one thing that hasn’t changed. Even now, Mr. T tweeted that, while he thinks he’s a terrible dancer, he’ll compete on DWTS for his favorite charities, Shriner’s Hospital and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Now, if I just happen to win, I will cutoff my Mohawk to stand in solidarity with the children who are fighting cancer! GOD bless them!” Mr. T vowed in a tweet.
Dancing With The Stars Lets Nancy Kerrigan Compete Again
Also coming to Season 24 of Dancing with the Stars will be former figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, who will be teamed up with professional dancer Artem Chigvintsev, reports People. While Kerrigan is now retired from her career as a figure skater, she managed to take home medals from competitions in two different Winter Olympic games. Nancy won her first medal, a bronze, at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, following that up with a silver win at the 1994 Winter Olympic games in Lillehammer, Norway.
Kerrigan’s career as a figure skater was put in jeopardy in January of 1994, when Shane Stant nearly broke her knee with a police baton, just prior to that year’s Winter Olympics. Stant was hired by Jeff Gillooly, Tonya Harding’s ex-boyfriend along with her bodyguard. After Gillooly implicated Tonya in the scheme to take Nancy Kerrigan out of the competition, Harding was sentenced to probation for three years with 500 hours of community service added to her sentence. She was also fined $160,000.
Nancy Kerrigan has continued to pursue her passion for ice skating, even following that attack, and was eventually inducted into the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2004. The skater, who will now perform without skates on Dancing with the Stars, has also worked as a special commentator at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Season 24 of Dancing with the Stars premieres on March 20 on ABC.
[Featured Image by Brad Barket/Getty Images and Bryan Bedder/Getty Images]