What Happened To The A-Team?

Ben Falk

They were the four-man crack commando unit who were sent to prison for a crime they didn’t commit, before escaping and spending five seasons on NBC welding things together in barns while helping people.

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George Peppard, Dirk Benedict, Mr. T and Dwight Schultz played ‘The A-Team’ between 1983 and 1987, helping the show - despite objections over its cartoon violence and lack of female characters - to become a huge global hit.

But what happened next…

George Peppard - John ‘Hannibal’ Smith

Peppard died in 1994 of pneumonia aged 65, after a career that hit an early high as the lead opposite Audrey Hepburn in 1961′s ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’. He also appeared in classic Western 'How The West Was Won’ and aerial shoot-em-up 'The Blue Max’.

He was married an impressive six times - twice to the same woman - and had three children. He was known through his early career as a big drinker and subsequently got sober, helping other former alcoholics.

He also had a cancerous growth removed from his lung in 1992, perhaps the results of his lifelong 60-a day cigarette habit. He didn’t work much after 'The A-Team’ (he had been hired and fired from 'Dynasty’ in which he was the original Blake Carrington a few years before), other than the odd TV movie and small-screen guest spots.

Sadly, his final screen performance came in an episode of legal drama 'Matlock’ that was actually intended to be a pilot for a spin-off series starring his PI character. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t live to make it.

Dirk Benedict - Templeton 'Faceman’ Peck

The lothario of the team, Face loved his women and his cars. Off-screen, things weren’t all that different for Benedict until he was diagnosed with a prostate tumour. Refusing to have it tested for cancer, he instead embarked on a macrobiotic diet which he says led him curing himself.

Having said that his career ended with 'The A-Team’, he instead travelled around the States before settling in Montana where he married and had three children. After getting divorced, he was awarded custody and raised them as a single parent.

Now 71, he has appeared sporadically on TV and does the convention circuit, where he is loved not just for being Face, but also for playing Starbuck in the original 'Battlestar Galactica’ series. His most high-profile appearance in recent years was on 'Celebrity Big Brother’, where he watched the Shilpa Shetty/Jade Goody racist bullying scandal unfold. He says he is still friends with Jermaine Jackson, Leo Sayer and H from Steps and future plans include running as the Republican candidate for governor of Montana.

Mr. T - Bosco 'B.A.’ Baracus

Possibly the most well-known member of the team thanks to his catchphrases and extravagant appearance, Mr. T - aka Laurence Turead - is now 64 and still parlaying his OTT style into appearances on Snickers adverts and in animated movies like 'Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs’. He even had a 2006 reality show on US cable network TV Land called 'I Pity The Fool’ in which he went around the country as a self-help guru.

He began his career in showbiz as a bodyguard to stars like Steve McQueen and Diana Ross before seguing into acting with his role as baddie Clubber Lang in 1982’s 'Rocky III’. He was also Hulk Hogan’s tag partner in the then-WWF (now WWE), which resulted in him being inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2014.

Post-'A-Team’ he lent his name to several products including the Mr. T Flavorware Oven and appeared in a Busta Rhymes video. In 1995 he was diagnosed with a rare form of T-cell lymphoma - “Cancer with my name on it,” he told Copingwithcancer.com. Luckily, it went into remission.

A born-again Christian, he gave away most of his gold jewellery after Hurricane Katrina, saying it would be disrespectful to the people who lost everything to carry on wearing it.

Dwight Schultz - Captain 'Howling Mad’ Murdock

This Baltimore native broke through as the kooky pilot who got on B.A.’s nerves and always wore a cap. The most successful actor post-'A-Team’, he had a recurring role on 'Star Trek: The Next Generation’ and 'Star Trek: Voyager’ as well as appearing in the film 'Star Trek: First Contact’. He is also a well-known voiceover artist thanks to playing a mad scientist in kids’ cartoon 'Ben 10’ on top of dozens of other small-screen supporting parts.

He’s been married to his wife since 1983 and together they have one daughter, who is a Marine. Like the rest of the 'A-Team’ actors, he is a staunch Republican and had his own conservative radio podcast, 'Howling Mad Radio’, between 2006 and 2008.

As a 'Trek’ alumnus, the now-68-year-old is also a frequent presence on the convention circuit. While he hasn’t seen Mr. T in some time, he is still friends with Dirk Benedict.

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Photos: Moviestore/PA/Rex/Getty Images