These smirking soldiers of fortune marauded across the airwaves for five cheese-tastic seasons, 1983-’87, pulling madcap capers that invariably helped “the little guy.”
Dodging the military police trying to bust them for a crime they didn’t commit back in Vietnam (don’t you hate it when that happens?), ‘The A-Team’ lived in a world of cartoon violence where no one was seriously injured by rampant gunfire, explosions or car wrecks. Nice.
Our mission: find out what they’ve been up in the 30 years since they’ve been off the ‘Team.’
Col. John “Hannibal” Smith
Then: Versatility, thy name is George Peppard. The onetime movie star went from sharing a kiss with Audrey Hepburn (‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s') to sharing a white van with Mr. T. The cigar-chomping honcho led a merry band of mercenaries, always cooking up a new scheme to stay ahead of the MPs. Master of disguise Hannibal relished the chase, and often remarked, “I love it when a plan comes together.” Hey, us too.
Now: ‘The A-Team’ gave Peppard a whole new generation of fans; he worked steadily in TV movies and was all set for a ‘Matlock’ spinoff once ‘Team’ was off the air. Sadly, his career renaissance was cut short when he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1992 and died from complications of the disease two years later.
Sgt. Bosco “B.A.” Baracus
Then: With a Fort Knox of gold chains around his neck, his ‘fro-hawk hairdo and his “I pity the fool…” tagline, B.A. was easily the Team’s breakout star. Wheelman, muscleman and mechanic for the crew, B.A. (Bad Attitude) could apparently handle anything — except flying, so the team always had to drug or hypnotize him to get him airborne. So that’s why they drove that van.
Now: Mr. T’s post-’A-Team’ career was golden with gigs as a pro wrestling personality and TV pitchman in addition to acting jobs. A born-again Christian, Mr. T now pities the fool who wears gold chains (as it’s an insult to God). Diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in 1995, the former bouncer eventually bounced the big C and now lives in Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck
Then: Benedict already had a TV following, as Starbuck on the original run of ‘Battlestar Galactica.’ His ‘A-Team’ character shared Starbuck’s gift of gab and went one better, with the gift of ‘MacGyver’: Face had the ability to make a plane out of a parachute and talk it into the air. As the Team’s con artist, scrounge, safe-cracker and chick magnet, Face was a master at scamming the ladies — and everyone else.
Now: Faceman settled down in real life, marrying actress Toni Hudson (who appeared in a season 4 ‘A-Team’ episode) in 1986. They divorced in 1995, but Dirk got custody of their two sons, raising them in a log cabin in his home state of Montana. He continues to act on stage and screen and competed in the 2007 season of the UK’s ‘Celebrity Big Brother,’ ranking third (coincidentally, he also ranked third on ‘The A-Team’).
Capt. H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock
Then: Crazy like a fox, Howling Mad lived rent-free in an insane asylum between ‘A-Team’ missions. Accompanied by his invisible dog Billy, Murdock’s convenient insanity didn’t keep him from helping Face with his con games, speaking many languages or flying a chopper like nobody’s business. Insanely funny, unless you asked his straight man Mr. T.
Now: After the Team broke up, Schultz went on to play Reginald Barclay in ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation,’ ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ and ‘Star Trek: First Contact.’ He also tried his hand as a conservative talk show host with the now defunct ‘Howling Mad Radio,’ but has enjoyed much more success doing voice work for animated shows and video games.