Telly Savalas

Actor, News producer, Director
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" ... Read more »
Born: 01/21/1924 in Garden City, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (101)

Back Fire! 1995 (Movie)

(Actor)

Kojak (CBS) 1973 - 1978, 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Commish 1992 - 1993 (Tv Show)

Actor

Mind Twister 1992 (Movie)

(Actor)

Perfect Crimes 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Ariana 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Flowers For Matty 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

It's Always Something 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The Hollywood Detective 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The Television Academy Hall of Fame 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Les Predateurs de la nuit 1988 (Movie)

Hallen (Actor)

Return to the Titanic -- Live! 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Fame, Fortune & Romance 1985 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The 38th Annual Emmy Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The 59th Annual Academy Awards Presentation 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Alice in Wonderland 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

George Burns Comedy Week 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Gobots: Battle of the Rock Lords 1986 (Movie)

of Magmar (Voice)

The 37th Annual Prime Time Emmy Awards 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Flintstones 25th Anniversary Celebration 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Alice 1976 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Cannonball Run II 1984 (Movie)

Hymie (Actor)

Dom DeLuise and Friends, Part 2 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Fake-Out 1981 (Movie)

Police Lieutenant Thurston (Actor)

The French Atlantic Affair 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Beyond the Poseidon Adventure 1979 (Movie)

Stefan Svevo (Actor)

Escape to Athena 1979 (Movie)

Zeno (Actor)

The Muppet Movie 1979 (Movie)

El Sleezo Tough (Actor)

Battle of the Network Stars III 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

CBS: On the Air 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Capricorn One 1978 (Movie)

Albain (Actor)

Circus of the Stars 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Windows, Doors and Keyholes 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Battle of the Network Stars I 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Battle of the Network Stars II 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Beyond Reason 1976 (Movie)

Dr Nicholas Mati (Actor)

Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope in "Joys" 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Inside Out 1976 (Movie)

Harry Morgan (Actor)

Telly... Who Loves Ya, Baby? 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

The Bob Hope Comedy Special 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Dinah in Search of the Ideal Man 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

La Casa dell'Exorcismo 1974 (Movie)

Leandro (Actor)

The Diamond Mercenaries 1974 (Movie)

Harry Webb (Actor)

Una Ragione Per Morire 1973 (Movie)

Major Ward (Actor)

Visions... 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Panico en el Transiberiano 1971 (Movie)

Captain Kazan (Actor)

Pretty Maids All in a Row 1971 (Movie)

Surcher (Actor)

Senza Ragione 1971 (Movie)

Memphis (Actor)

Sonny & Jed 1971 (Movie)

Franciscus (Actor)

A Town Called Hell 1970 (Movie)

Dan Carlos (Actor)

Clay Pigeon 1970 (Movie)

Redford (Actor)

Kelly's Heroes 1970 (Movie)

Big Joe (Actor)

Violent City 1970 (Movie)

Weber (Actor)

Crooks and Coronets 1969 (Movie)

Herbie Hassler (Actor)

Land Raiders 1969 (Movie)

Vince Carden (Actor)

MacKenna's Gold 1969 (Movie)

Sgt Tibbs (Actor)

On Her Majesty's Secret Service 1969 (Movie)

Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Actor)

The Assassination Bureau 1969 (Movie)

Lord Bostwick (Actor)

Buona Sera, Mrs Campbell 1968 (Movie)

Walter Braddock (Actor)

Sol Madrid 1968 (Movie)

Emil Dietrich (Actor)

The Scalphunters 1968 (Movie)

Jim Howie (Actor)

The Dirty Dozen 1967 (Movie)

Archer Maggott (Actor)

Beau Geste 1966 (Movie)

Sergeant-Major Dagineau (Actor)

The Karate Killers 1966 (Movie)

Count de Franzini (Actor)

Battle of the Bulge 1965 (Movie)

Sergeant Guffy (Actor)

Genghis Khan 1965 (Movie)

Shan (Actor)

The Greatest Story Ever Told 1965 (Movie)

Pontius Pilate (Actor)

The Slender Thread 1964 (Movie)

Doctor Coburn (Actor)

Alcoa Premiere 1961 - 1963 (TV Show)

Actor

John Goldfarb, Please Come Home 1963 (Movie)

Harem Recruiter (Actor)

Johnny Cool 1963 (Movie)

Mr Santangelo (Actor)

Love Is a Ball 1963 (Movie)

Dr Gump (Actor)

The Dick Powell Show 1961 - 1963 (TV Show)

Actor

The New Interns 1963 (Movie)

Dr Riccio (Actor)

Birdman of Alcatraz 1962 (Movie)

Feto Gomez (Actor)

Cape Fear 1962 (Movie)

Sievers (Actor)

The Man From the Diner's Club 1962 (Movie)

Foots Pulardos (Actor)

Mad Dog Coll 1961 (Movie)

Lt Dawson (Actor)

The Interns 1961 (Movie)

Dr Riccio (Actor)

The Young Savages 1961 (Movie)

Lt Gunnison (Actor)

Faceless (TV Show)

Actor

Fatal Flaw (TV Show)

Actor

Hellinger's Law (TV Show)

Actor

Kojak: The Belarus File (TV Show)

Actor

Kojak: The Price of Justice (TV Show)

Actor

Mongo's Back in Town (TV Show)

Actor

My Palikari (TV Show)

Actor

None So Blind (TV Show)

Actor

Plates (TV Show)

Actor

She Cried Murder (TV Show)

Actor

The Cartier Affair (TV Show)

Actor

The Marcus-Nelson Murders (TV Show)

Actor

The Twilight Zone (TV Show)

Actor
Music (1)

The Break-Up 2006 (Movie)

("Who Loves Ya Baby") (Song Performer)
Director (1)

Beyond Reason 1976 (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (1)

Beyond Reason 1976 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

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 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.

Relationships

Sally Adams

Companion

George Demosthenes

Brother
died October 2, 1985 of leukemia at age 58 played supporting role on "Kojak", billed first as "Demosthenes" and later as "George Savalas"

Marilyn Gardner Archival Footage

Wife

Julie Hovland

Wife
Married 1984 until his death Jan. 22, 1994

Katherine Nicolaides

Wife

Christina Savalas

Mother
died 1988

Ariana Savalas

Daughter
born c. 1987, mother Julie Savalas

Candace Savalas

Daughter
c. 1963, mother Marilynn Savalas

Christina Savalas

Daughter
born c. 1951, mother Katherine Savalas

Penelope Savalas

Daughter
born c. 1962, mother Marilynn Savalas

Christian Savalas

Son
born c. 1984, mother Julie Savalas

Nicholas Savalas

Son
c. 1973, mother, Sally Adams

Gus Savalas

Brother

Nicollette Sheridan Actor

Step-Daughter
Born Nov. 21, 1963; mother, Sally Sheridan; although Savalas and Sally never married, Nicollette considered him her stepfather

EDUCATION

Columbia University

New York , New York

Milestones

1994

Last TV appearance, "The Golden Globe's 50th Anniversary Celebration"

1987

Played last feature film role in "Les Predateurs de la nuit/Faceless"

1985

Reprised role of Theo Kojak on the TV-movie, "Kojak: The Belarus File"

1977

Feature directorial and screenwriting debut "Beyond Reason"

1974

Debut album, "Telly"

1973

Played title role of Theo Kojak on the CBS police drama, "Kojak"

1961

Feature acting debut, "The Young Savages"

1959

TV acting debut, "Armstrong Circle Theater"

Directed episodes of the TV series, "Kojak"

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