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Telly Savalas

Telly Savalas

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Also Known As: Aristotle Savalas Died: January 22, 1994
Born: January 21, 1924 Cause of Death: prostate cancer
Birth Place: Garden City, New York, USA Profession: actor, screenwriter, news producer, director, radio newscaster, executive, singer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Already one of Hollywood's more versatile character actors, equally believable as a stalwart hero or sadistic villain, Telly Savalas later achieved pop-culture immortality as the bald, lollipop-chomping cop "Kojak" (CBS, 1973-78). Savalas had already gained a lifetime of experience with a three-year stint in the Army during WWII, work for the U.S. Information Services and at ABC News by the time he began his acting career in his late-thirties. Spotted in a TV performance by Burt Lancaster, Savalas was cast in the movie star's next two feature films, "The Young Savages" (1961) and "The Birdman of Alcatraz" (1962). From there, it was on to a steady string of appearances, often as the bad guy, in notable films like "The Dirty Dozen" (1967), "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969) and "Kelly's Heroes" (1970). But it was his lengthy run on television as the eponymous police detective "Kojak" that made the actor a bona fide star of truly iconic status, with his tagline of "Who loves ya, baby!" entering the common vernacular, and his clean-shaven head serving as an inspiration to follicley-challenged men everywhere. Although he continued to work in various film projects during and after his series, the...

Already one of Hollywood's more versatile character actors, equally believable as a stalwart hero or sadistic villain, Telly Savalas later achieved pop-culture immortality as the bald, lollipop-chomping cop "Kojak" (CBS, 1973-78). Savalas had already gained a lifetime of experience with a three-year stint in the Army during WWII, work for the U.S. Information Services and at ABC News by the time he began his acting career in his late-thirties. Spotted in a TV performance by Burt Lancaster, Savalas was cast in the movie star's next two feature films, "The Young Savages" (1961) and "The Birdman of Alcatraz" (1962). From there, it was on to a steady string of appearances, often as the bad guy, in notable films like "The Dirty Dozen" (1967), "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969) and "Kelly's Heroes" (1970). But it was his lengthy run on television as the eponymous police detective "Kojak" that made the actor a bona fide star of truly iconic status, with his tagline of "Who loves ya, baby!" entering the common vernacular, and his clean-shaven head serving as an inspiration to follicley-challenged men everywhere. Although he continued to work in various film projects during and after his series, the role of Kojak was one he would happily return to time and again over the years. Few actors could lay claim to a career as lengthy and diverse as the one enjoyed by Savalas for more than 30 years - fewer still, could bring to life a character as indelible as Lt. Theo Kojak.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Beyond Reason (1977) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Back Fire! (1995)
2.
 Mind Twister (1994)
3.
 Plates (1990) Kojak
4.
 It's Always Something (1990) Lieutenant Theo Kojak
5.
 None So Blind (1990) Lieutenant Theo Kojak
6.
 Flowers For Matty (1990) Lieutenant Theo Kojak
7.
 Fatal Flaw (1989) Inspector Theo Kojak
8.
 Ariana (1989) Inspector Theo Kojak
9.
 Hollywood Detective, The (1989) Harry Bell
10.
 Dirty Dozen, The: The Fatal Mission (1988) Major Wright
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1959:
TV acting debut, "Armstrong Circle Theater"
1961:
Feature acting debut, "The Young Savages"
1973:
Played title role of Theo Kojak on the CBS police drama, "Kojak"
1974:
Debut album, "Telly"
:
Directed episodes of the TV series, "Kojak"
1977:
Feature directorial and screenwriting debut "Beyond Reason"
1985:
Reprised role of Theo Kojak on the TV-movie, "Kojak: The Belarus File"
1987:
Played last feature film role in "Les Predateurs de la nuit/Faceless"
1994:
Last TV appearance, "The Golden Globe's 50th Anniversary Celebration"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Columbia University: New York , New York -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Katherine Savalas.
wife:
Marilynn Savalas. Married in 1961; divorced in 1974.
companion:
Sally Adams.
wife:
Julie Savalas. Travel agent. Born c. 1957, married from 1984 until 1994.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Christina Savalas. Died 1988.
brother:
George Savalas Demosthenes. Actor. Died October 2, 1985 of leukemia at age 58; played supporting role on "Kojak", billed first as "Demosthenes" and later as "George Savalas".
brother:
Gus Savalas. Actor.
daughter:
Christina Savalas. Born c. 1951, mother Katherine Savalas.
daughter:
Penelope Savalas. Born c. 1962, mother Marilynn Savalas.
daughter:
Candace Savalas. Actor. C. 1963, mother Marilynn Savalas.
son:
Nicholas Savalas. C. 1973, mother, Sally Adams.
son:
Christian Savalas. Born c. 1984, mother Julie Savalas.
daughter:
Ariana Savalas. Born c. 1987, mother Julie Savalas.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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