Why Is Mr. T, Of All People, Attending Nancy Reagan’s Funeral?

When news of former first lady Nancy Reagan’s death first broke over the weekend, the nation quickly reacted. The loss of former President Ronald Reagan’s wife was an especially crushing blow to conservatives, who were irate that current President Barack Obama would not be attending Nancy’s funeral as it coincided with a previously scheduled appearance at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. In the midst of all these public displays of mourning, hate and apathy, however, one voice remained calm in its remembrance of Nancy — The A Team star Mr. T.

Yes, that Mr. T. The same Mr. T who did some serious damage as “Clubber Lang” in Rocky III. Not only did the 63-year-old actor beautifully memorialize Reagan on Twitter, but he is also one of a few dozen celebrities who were invited to attend the former first lady’s funeral on Friday. Why? Because a year after he launched himself into the ring to go toe-to-toe with Sylvester Stallone, Mr. T played Santa Claus at the White House in 1983. Not because he’d punched his way past the Secret Service, mind you, but because Nancy Reagan had personally invited him to attend the event, pose for pictures and join her “Just Say No” program.

No seriously, I’m not kidding. Here’s black and white, professionally photographed proof of the encounter:

"Is this okay with the President, Mrs. Reagan?"
Getty Image

"Is this okay with the President, Mrs. Reagan?"

According to an official program obtained by the Associated Press, Mr. T is simply one of many “notable guests” who will be in attendance at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. It doesn’t indicate whether he will be participate in the service, but considering the weight of his tweeted remembrances from this past Monday, his remarks would surely bring a tear to everyone’s eyes.

(Via Associated Press, People)