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Telly Savalas –

Savalas in KOJAK.

About Telly Savalas (1922 – 1994)
Telly Savalas was born on January 21, 1924, in Garden City, Long Island, New York. Savalas passed away on January 22, 1994, in Universal City, California, from bladder cancer.

Telly Savalas' birth name was Aristotelis Savalas.

Savalas used the catchphrase, "Who loves ya, baby?"

The top part of one of Savalas index fingers was missing.

Before becoming an actor, Telly Savalas had many odd jobs, from selling newspapers to becoming a lifeguard. Early in his career, he directed stage plays at a theater in Connecticut. During Savalas's service in World War 2, he was a recipient of a Purple Heart.

Savalas hosted the popular radio program, Telly's Coffeehouse in the early 1950s. Savalas made his TV debut, in 1959, and his big-screen bow two years later in John Frankenheimer's The Young Savages.

In 1962, Telly Savalas copped a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination as Feto Gomez, a prisoner on solitary row in Frankenheimer's Birdman of Alcatraz. Telly was known for being the bald-headed actor played character roles, often as sadistic or psychotic types.

In the 70s, Telly Savalas became a TV favorite when his role as Det. Theo Kojak in the TV movie, The Marcus-Nelson Murders (1973), and was expanded into the gritty Kojak (1973) TV series, lasting from 1973-78. To help Telly quit smoking, he sucked on a lolly-pop during the filming of KOJAK. Savalas's brother is George Savalas. They starred together in Kojak on some episodes.

Telly Savalas's notable credits include...

Backfire! (1995)
Faceless (1988)
Cannonball Run II (1984)
Escape to Athena (1979)
The Muppet Movie (1979)
Horror Express (1973)
Capricorn One (1978)
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)




Telly Savalas in The Dirty Dozen.


Telly Savalas (right) in Kelly's Heroes.




Telly Savalas in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965).