Telly Savalas was an American actor best known for his portrayal of the tough New York City detective, Lt. Theo Kojak, in the 1970s television series Kojak. Born on January 21, 1922, in Garden City, New York, Savalas was the son of Greek immigrants. He and his brother Gus sold newspapers and shined shoes to help support their family.
Aside from his iconic role as Kojak, Savalas also appeared in numerous films and television shows throughout his career. He was nominated for multiple awards, including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1962 film Birdman of Alcatraz. In addition to acting, Savalas was also a singer and recorded several albums. He passed away on January 22, 1994, in Universal City, Los Angeles, California, due to prostate cancer.
Telly Savalas was born on January 21, 1922, in Garden City, New York, as Aristotle Tsavalas. His parents were Greek immigrants, and he had a brother named Gus. To help support the family, Savalas and his brother sold newspapers and shined shoes.
In 1941, he joined the army and served in World War II. He was discharged with a Purple Heart disability. After the war, he worked for the U.S. State Department as the host of the Your Voice of America series and then at ABC News.
Savalas received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia’s School of General Studies in 1946 and started working on a master’s degree while preparing for medical school. However, he changed his mind and decided to pursue a career in acting. He studied at the Actors Studio in New York City and eventually moved to Hollywood to pursue his acting career.
Telly Savalas was a multi-talented artist who excelled in various fields. He was an actor, singer, and director. He began his career as a radio and stage actor in the early 1950s. He acted in several plays and radio shows before making his way to television and films.
Telly Savalas is best known for his role as Lieutenant Theo Kojak in the popular TV series “Kojak” that aired from 1973 to 1978. The show became an instant hit and made Savalas a household name. He won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in the show.
Apart from “Kojak,” Savalas appeared in several other TV shows, including “The Untouchables,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Combat!,” “The F.B.I.,” and “The Love Boat.”
Savalas had a successful film career, appearing in over 70 movies. He made his film debut in 1962 with “The Young Savages.” He went on to act in several notable films, including “Birdman of Alcatraz,” “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” “The Dirty Dozen,” and “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”
Savalas was also a prolific voice actor and lent his voice to several animated films and TV shows, including “The Aristocats,” “The Muppet Show,” and “Capitol Critters.”
In addition to his acting career, Savalas was also a talented singer. He released several albums, including “Telly,” “Who Loves Ya Baby,” and “This Is Telly Savalas…”. He even had a hit single with “If.” He performed in several concerts and even had his own musical variety show, “The Telly Savalas Show.”
Telly Savalas had a long and successful career in the entertainment industry, leaving a lasting impression on audiences with his talent and charisma.
Telly Savalas was born on January 21, 1922, in Garden City, Long Island, New York, USA, as the second son of Greek immigrants. His father, Nick Savalas, was a restaurant owner and his mother, Christina Savalas, was a homemaker. Telly had four siblings: brothers Gus and George, and sisters Katherine and Anastasia.
Telly Savalas was married three times. His first marriage was to Katherine Nicolaides in 1948, with whom he had two children, Christina and Penelope. They divorced in 1957. His second marriage was to Marilyn Gardner in 1960, with whom he had two children, Candace and Christian. They divorced in 1974. His third marriage was to Julie Hovland in 1984, and they remained married until his death in 1994.
In addition to his marriages, Telly Savalas was known to have had several relationships throughout his life, including with actresses Sally Adams and Sally Sheridan. He was also rumored to have had a romantic relationship with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. However, none of these relationships were ever confirmed by Savalas himself.
Telly Savalas had a successful career in acting, which earned him a decent net worth. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Telly Savalas had a net worth of $5 million at the time of his death in 1994.
Savalas started his career in acting in the 1950s, and he appeared in numerous films and television shows throughout his career. He gained widespread recognition for his role as Lieutenant Theo Kojak in the television series Kojak, which aired from 1973 to 1978.
Apart from acting, Savalas was also a singer and released several albums. He even had a hit song in the UK in 1975 with “If.”
Savalas was known for his distinctive bald head, which he shaved for a role in a movie. He later made it his signature look and became an icon of the 1970s.
Telly Savalas had a successful career in the entertainment industry, and his net worth reflects his hard work and talent.
Telly Savalas was a man of average height, standing at 5 feet 11 inches (180 cm) tall. He had a well-built physique that was accentuated by his bald head and deep voice, which became his trademark features.
Throughout his career, Savalas’ height was never a hindrance to his success as an actor. He was known for his imposing presence on screen, which made him stand out in many of his roles.
Despite his average height, Savalas had a commanding presence that made him a favorite among fans and colleagues alike. His unique style and confidence were evident in his performances, and it was this combination that earned him numerous accolades and awards throughout his career.
Telly Savalas’ height was not a defining feature of his career, but his commanding presence and unique style were what made him a beloved actor and personality.
- Telly Savalas was born on January 21, 1922, in Garden City, New York, and passed away on January 22, 1994, in Universal City, Los Angeles, California.
- Savalas was of Greek descent, and his birth name was Aristotle Tsavalas.
- He served in the US Army during World War II and was discharged with a Purple Heart disability.
- Savalas began his career as an executive director and then as senior director of the news special events at ABC.
- He hosted a radio show called “The Coffeehouse in New York City” in 1950.
- Savalas was a talented singer and recorded several albums, including “Telly” and “Who Loves Ya, Baby?”
- He won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak in the TV series “Kojak” (1973-1978).
- Savalas was known for his distinctive bald head, which he shaved for a role in the movie “The Dirty Dozen” (1967) and continued to do so for the rest of his career.
- He was married twice, first to Marilyn Gardner from 1960 to 1974 and then to Julie Hovland from 1984 until his death in 1994.
- Savalas had six children, including actress Penelope Ann Miller, who is his daughter from his first marriage.
- He was a heavy smoker and died from prostate cancer at the age of 72.
Telly Savalas left a lasting legacy in the entertainment industry. He was a versatile actor who played a variety of roles throughout his career. He was best known for his portrayal of the bald-headed, lollipop-sucking detective Kojak in the television series of the same name. His performance in the show earned him an Emmy Award in 1974 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
Savalas also had a successful film career, appearing in over 70 movies. He played memorable roles in films such as “The Dirty Dozen” (1967), “Birdman of Alcatraz” (1962), and “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969).
In addition to his acting career, Savalas was a talented singer. He released several albums, including “Telly” and “Who Loves Ya, Baby?” which featured his signature catchphrase from Kojak.
Savalas’ impact on popular culture is still felt today. His iconic portrayal of Kojak has been referenced and parodied in countless television shows and movies. He remains a beloved figure in the entertainment industry and is remembered for his talent, charisma, and unique style.
Awards and Achievements
Telly Savalas was a talented actor who received recognition for his work throughout his career. Here are some of the awards and achievements that he received:
- Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- Nominated for four Golden Globes, winning twice in 1975 and 1976, for Best Actor in a Drama Series (Kojak).
- Won an Emmy for the first season of Kojak.
- Nominated for a Golden Globe in 1966 for Best Supporting Actor in Battle of the Bulge.
- Nominated for Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role in Birdman of Alcatraz.
Savalas was known for his signature role as Lieutenant Theo Kojak in the TV series Kojak, which earned him critical acclaim and several awards. He won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama Series in 1975 and 1976 for his portrayal of the tough, lollipop-sucking detective.
In addition to his TV work, Savalas also had success in film. He received a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination for his role as Feto Gomez in Birdman of Alcatraz.
Savalas was a talented actor who left a lasting impression on the entertainment industry. His work earned him numerous awards and accolades, and his legacy continues to inspire new generations of actors and fans alike.
Telly Savalas passed away on January 22, 1994, just one day after his 72nd birthday. He died of complications related to bladder cancer, which he had been battling for some time.
Savalas had been diagnosed with cancer in 1989, and underwent treatment that included the removal of his bladder. Despite his illness, he continued to work on various film and television projects, including a recurring role on the hit show “The Commish.”
In the days leading up to his death, Savalas had been hospitalized at the Sheraton-Universal Hotel in Universal City, California. He was surrounded by his family and close friends at the time of his passing.
Savalas was laid to rest at the George Washington section of the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. His legacy as a beloved actor and icon in the entertainment industry lives on to this day.