Reagan recruited Mr. T, born Laurence Tureaud, for her Just Say No project. Their partnership began when the actor’s antidrug stance prompted an invitation from the First Lady to preview the White House Christmas decorations in 1983.
Mr. T put on a sleeveless Santa suit, gold chains and a pair of old work boots. Reagan “doted on the Terrific T,” sat on his knee and kissed his head, reported the Washington Post.
“Wow! Wow, growl, wow!” he shouted, according to news reports at the time. “Burt Reynolds, eat your heart out.”
Mr. T appeared again with the Reagans at a 1989 charity dinner for the Nancy Reagan Center for drug treatment in the San Fernando Valley of California. Even after Ronald Reagan left the White House, Mr. T continued to work with Mrs. Reagan on Just Say No. Here a couple more shots from their Happy Night: