Telly Savalas

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Telly Savalas

Savalas in 1980
Born Aristotelis Savalas
January 21, 1922
Garden City, New York, U.S.
Died January 22, 1994
Universal City, California, U.S.
Cause of death Bladder cancer[1]
Nationality American
Alma mater Columbia University
Occupation Actor
Years active 1950 – 1994
Known for Kojak
Spouse Katherine Nicolaides (1948-1957; divorced),
Marilyn Gardner (1960-1974; divorced),
Julie Hovland (1984-1994; his death)

Telly Savalas (January 21, 1922 – January 22, 1994) was an American actor. He is best known from playing the character Kojak in a television series and many television movies. He was born in Garden City, New York; his parents were Greek Americans.

Career[change | change source]

Early in his career, he played different characters like the detective in Cape Fear (1962), with Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, and the role of Feto Gomez in Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), he would win the Academy Award as supporting actor.

One of his best roles in his career was that of Pontius Pilate, in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965). For his role, he shaved his head.

Then co-star in war movies Battle of the Bulge (1965), The Dirty Dozen (1967), with Lee Marvin, Telly played the role of a religious fanatic convict, who is elected by Lee Marvin for a suicidal mission., and Kelly's Heroes (1970), with Clint Eastwood and directed by Brian G. Hutton.

The personified as a villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, in the James Bond saga, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).

In the 1970s Savalas worked in Europe with some success in movies as Città violenta (1970), with Charles Bronson, A Town Called Bastard (1971), with Jack Palance, La banda J.S.: Cronaca criminale del Far West (1972), Horror Express (1972) with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, Senza ragione (1973). and the movie by Mario Bava, Lisa e il diavolo (1974).

In the late 70s and early 1980s, Savalas worked on movies including Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979), Cannonball Run II (1984).

Television[change | change source]

In 1973 CBS hired him to play the role of a Lieutenant, member of the police detective in New York, in production for CBS television: The Marcus-Nelson Murders. Has a success out of the ordinary and the producers decided to turn it into a television series.

Seven TV movies were made in the series Kojak: Kojak: The Belarus File (1985), Kojak: The Price of Justice (1987), Kojak: Ariana (1989), Kojak: Fatal Flaw (1991), Kojak: Flowers for Matty (1990), Kojak: It's Always Something (1990) and Kojak: None So Blind (1990).

He won an Emmy Award for Kojak.

He also starred in TV movie productions Mongo's Back in Town (1972), She Cried Murder (1973), Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story (1980), Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission (1987), The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission (1988), The Hollywood Detective (1989).

Filmography[change | change source]

Movie
Year Títle Role Note
1961 Mad Dog Coll Lt. Darro
The Young Savages Detective Lt. Gunderson
1962 Cape Fear Private Detective Charles Sievers
Birdman of Alcatraz Feto Gomez Oscar Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Telly Savalas)
1963 The Man from the Diners' Club Foots Pulardos
Love Is a Ball Dr. Christian Gump
1964 The New Interns Dr. Dominick 'Dom' Riccio
1965 The Greatest Story Ever Told Pontius Pilate
Genghis Khan Shan
Battle of the Bulge Sgt. Guffy
The Slender Thread Dr. Joe Coburn
1966 Beau Geste Sgt. Maj. Dagineau
1967 The Dirty Dozen Archer Maggott
Sol Madrid Emil Dietrich
The Scalphunters Jim Howie
1968 Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell Walter Braddock
1969 The Assassination Bureau Lord Bostwick
Mackenna's Gold Sgt. Tibbs
Crooks and Coronets Herbie Haseler
Land Raiders Vince Carden
On Her Majesty's Secret Service Ernst Stavro Blofeld
1970 Kelly's Heroes MSgt. Big Joe
Città violenta Al Weber
1971 Pretty Maids All in a Row Captain Sam Surcher
A Town Called Bastard Don Carlos
Clay Pigeon Redford
1972 La banda J.S.: Cronaca criminale del Far West Sheriff Franciscus
Mongo's Back in Town (TV movie) Lieutenant Pete Tolstad
Pancho Villa Pancho Villa
Horror Express Captain Kazan
Una ragione per vivere e una per morire Maj. Ward
1973 I familiari delle vittime non saranno avvertiti Don Vincenzo
The Marcus-Nelson Murders (TV movie) Lt. Theo Kojak
1973/1978 Kojak (TV series) Lt. Theo Kojak 118 episodes
1974 Lisa e il diavolo Leandro
1975 L'assassino... è al telefono Ranko Drasovic
Inside Out Harry Morgan
1976 Killer Force Webb
1977 Beyond Reason Dr. Nicholas Mati
1978 Capricorn One Albain
1979 Escape to Athena Captain Stefan Svevo
The Muppet Movie Sleezo Tough
1980 The Border Frank Cooper
1982 Fake-Out
1984 Cannonball Run II Hymie Kaplan
1985 Kojak: The Belarus File (TV movie) Lieutenant Theo Kojak
1987 Kojak: The Price of Justice (TV movie) Inspector Kojak
Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission (TV movie) Maj. Wright
Faceless Terry Hallen
1988 The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission (TV movie) Maj. Wright
1989 Kojak: Ariana (TV movie) Inspector Kojak
The Hollywood Detective (TV movie) Harry Bell
1990 Kojak: Flowers for Matty (TV movie) Inspector Theo Kojak
Kojak: It's Always Something (TV movie) Inspector Theo Kojak
Kojak: None So Blind (TV movie) Inspector Theo Kojak
1991 Kojak: Fatal Flaw (TV movie) Inspector Theo Kojak
1994 Mind Twister Richard Howland

References[change | change source]

  1. Bio

Other websites[change | change source]