Telly Savalas - Singers, Facts and Life

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Telly Savalas's Personal Details

Telly Savalas was an American actor and producer well-known for his role in the television series ‘Kojak’

InformationDetail
BirthdayJanuary 21, 1922
Died onJanuary 22, 1994
NationalityAmerican
FamousSingers, Columbia University, Film & Theater Personalities, Actors
SpousesJulie Hovland, Katherine Nicolaides, Marilyn Gardner
SiblingsGeorge Savalas, Gus Savalas, Teddy Savalas
Childrens Ariana Savalas, Candace Savalas, Christian Savalas, Christina Savalas, Nick Savalas, Penélope Savalas
Universities
  • Columbia University
  • Columbia University
Notable Alumnis
  • Columbia University
Birth PlaceGarden City, New York, USA
GenderMale
FatherNick Savalas
MotherChristina
Sun SignAquarius
Born inGarden City, New York, USA
Famous asAmerican singer
Died at Age72

// Famous Singers

Telly Savalas's photo

Who is Telly Savalas?

Telly Savalas was one of Hollywood’s most versatile showmen, widely recognised as the bald-headed cop from ‘Kojak’. His role as ‘Theo Kojak’, the lollipop sucking cop who used the trademark line ‘Who loves Ya, baby?’ in ‘Kojak’, is regarded as one of the best performances of his career. Some of his other renowned films include, ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’, ‘Birdman of Alcatraz’, ‘On Her Majesty's Secret Service’, ‘The Scalphunters’, ‘Kelly Heros’, ‘Beyond the Poseidon Adventure’ and ‘Cannonba ll Run II’. His famous bald look and piercing eyes often landed him villainous roles including the treacherous, merciless villain ‘Ernst Stavro Blofeld’ in the James Bond film, ‘On Her Majesty's Secret Service’. He soon became known for the atrocious, sadistic and psychotic roles he played on screen. This Golden Globe Award-winning actor had a very humble beginning, as his family struggled to make ends meet. Along with his brother, he did a number of odd jobs to support the family and also served in the United States Army for a while. He was awarded the prestigious ‘Purple Heart’ medal for his military services and has been the recipient of a number of other accolades related to acting.

// Famous Film & Theater Personalities

Childhood & Early Life

Telly Savalas was the second of the five children born to Christina, an artist and Nick Savalas, a restaurant owner, in New York.

In 1940, he graduated from the Sewanhaka High School, New York, after which he worked as a lifeguard.

In 1941, he served in the United States Army during World War II and subsequently, left the army in order to complete his education.

In 1948, he graduated from Columbia University School of General Studies, where he majored in English, radio and psychology.

Career

In the 1950s, he gained experience in production, while he hosted the ‘Your Voice of America’ series, an ABC radio show. The show garnered widespread attention and thereafter, he was signed on as the executive producer for the show, ‘Telly's Coffee House’.

In 1959, he got his first break in acting in, ‘And Bring Home a Baby’, an episode of ‘Armstrong Circle Theatre’, which ran on the CBS Network.

From 1959 to 1967, he made a number of guest appearances in ‘Naked City’, ‘The Eleventh Hour’, ‘The Untouchables’, ‘The Fugitive’, ‘Breaking Point’, ‘Bonanza’, ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E’ and ‘The F.B.I’.

He played the role of ‘Brother Hendricksen’ in ‘77 Sunset Strip’, a private detective drama series and also appeared on ‘Acapulco’, an NBC adventure series.

In 1961, he was cast as ‘Detective Gunderson’ in ‘The Young Savages’, a crime- drama film directed by John Frankenheimer. The following year, he earned an Academy Award-nomination for his role as the sadistic, ‘Feto Gomez’ in ‘Birdman of Alcatraz’.

He became bald for the role of ‘Pontius Pilate’ in the 1965 American film, ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’, directed by George Stevens.

In 1967, he acted in ‘The Dirty Dozen’, a war film, where he played the role of ‘Archer J. Maggot’, a religious and atrocious convict. The following year, he starred opposite Burt Lancaster in ‘The Scalphunters’, a film about racism during the Civil Rights Movement.

In 1969, he played the role of the villain ‘Ernst Stavro Blofeld’ in the James Bond film ‘On Her Majesty's Secret Service’. He also appeared alongside Clint Eastwood in ‘Kelly Heros’, a 1970 war comedy film about a group of World War II soldiers, directed by Brian G. Hutton.

He received great recognition and fame as an actor after he played the lead role in the CBS television movie, ‘The Marcus Nelson Mursers’.

In 1973, he played the title role of a bald New York Police Detective, ‘Theo Kojak’ on the CBS television series ‘Kojak’.

His spoken word version of Bread's "If" was #1 in Europe for 10 weeks in 1975.In 1980, he starred in the TV film, ‘Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story’. The same year, he recorded ‘Some Broken Hearts Never Mind’, which topped the Billboard charts that year.

In 1990, he appeared in the TV adaptation of ‘Kojak’, titled, ‘Kojak: It's Always Something’.

Major Works

He played the title role of ‘Theo Kojak’ in the television series ‘Kojak’. TV Guide placed his character at the number 18 position on the list of ‘50 Greatest TV Characters of All Time’. The series became so popular that it was adapted into a television series and was broadcast on the USA Network cable channel and on ITV4 channel, U.K.

Awards & Achievements

He received a ‘Purple Heart’, a United Sates Military decoration awarded in the name of the President, in recognition of his services during World War II.

In 1975 and 1976, he received the Golden Globe Award for the category of Best TV Actor – Drama for ‘Kojak’.

In 1983, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1948, he married his long-time girlfriend and college sweetheart, Katherine Nicolaides. The couple divorced in 1957.

In 1960, he married Mariln Gardner, a theatre teacher with whom he has two children. However, the couple got divorced in 1974.

In 1984, he married his third wife Julie Hovland, with whom he has two children.

He had a deformed left index finger and was diagnosed with cell cancer in the bladder and prostate.

He passed away due to complications from cancer at the age of 72.

Trivia

This American actor and producer would often use off-script phrases and mottoes in Greek during shooting.

// Famous Alumni of Columbia University

Telly Savalas awards

YearNameAward

Golden Globe Awards

1976Best Actor in a Television Series - DramaKojak (1973)
1975Best TV Actor - DramaKojak (1973)

Primetime Emmy Awards

1974Best Lead Actor in a Drama SeriesKojak (1973)

People's Choice Awards

1976Favorite Male TV PerformerWinner
1975Favorite Male TV PerformerWinner

Telly Savalas biography timelines

  • // 21st Jan 1921
    Telly Savalas was the second of the five children born to Christina, an artist and Nick Savalas, a restaurant owner, in New York.
  • // 1940
    In 1940, he graduated from the Sewanhaka High School, New York, after which he worked as a lifeguard.
  • // 1941
    In 1941, he served in the United States Army during World War II and subsequently, left the army in order to complete his education.
  • // 1948
    In 1948, he graduated from Columbia University School of General Studies, where he majored in English, radio and psychology.
  • // 1948 To 1957
    In 1948, he married his long-time girlfriend and college sweetheart, Katherine Nicolaides. The couple divorced in 1957.
  • // 1959
    In 1959, he got his first break in acting in, ‘And Bring Home a Baby’, an episode of ‘Armstrong Circle Theatre’, which ran on the CBS Network.
  • // 1959 To 1967
    From 1959 to 1967, he made a number of guest appearances in ‘Naked City’, ‘The Eleventh Hour’, ‘The Untouchables’, ‘The Fugitive’, ‘Breaking Point’, ‘Bonanza’, ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E’ and ‘The F.B.I’.
  • // 1960 To 1974
    In 1960, he married Mariln Gardner, a theatre teacher with whom he has two children. However, the couple got divorced in 1974.
  • // 1961
    In 1961, he was cast as ‘Detective Gunderson’ in ‘The Young Savages’, a crime- drama film directed by John Frankenheimer. The following year, he earned an Academy Award-nomination for his role as the sadistic, ‘Feto Gomez’ in ‘Birdman of Alcatraz’.
  • // 1965
    He became bald for the role of ‘Pontius Pilate’ in the 1965 American film, ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’, directed by George Stevens.
  • // 1967
    In 1967, he acted in ‘The Dirty Dozen’, a war film, where he played the role of ‘Archer J. Maggot’, a religious and atrocious convict. The following year, he starred opposite Burt Lancaster in ‘The Scalphunters’, a film about racism during the Civil Rights Movement.
  • // 1969 To 1970
    In 1969, he played the role of the villain ‘Ernst Stavro Blofeld’ in the James Bond film ‘On Her Majesty's Secret Service’. He also appeared alongside Clint Eastwood in ‘Kelly Heros’, a 1970 war comedy film about a group of World War II soldiers, directed by Brian G. Hutton.
  • // 1973
    In 1973, he played the title role of a bald New York Police Detective, ‘Theo Kojak’ on the CBS television series ‘Kojak’.
  • // 1975 To 1980
    His spoken word version of Bread's "If" was #1 in Europe for 10 weeks in 1975.In 1980, he starred in the TV film, ‘Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story’. The same year, he recorded ‘Some Broken Hearts Never Mind’, which topped the Billboard charts that year.
  • // 1975 To 1976
    In 1975 and 1976, he received the Golden Globe Award for the category of Best TV Actor – Drama for ‘Kojak’.
  • // 1983
    In 1983, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard.
  • // 1984
    In 1984, he married his third wife Julie Hovland, with whom he has two children.
  • // 1990
    In 1990, he appeared in the TV adaptation of ‘Kojak’, titled, ‘Kojak: It's Always Something’.
  • // 22nd Jan 1994
    He passed away due to complications from cancer at the age of 72.

// Famous Actors

Telly Savalas's FAQ

  • What is Telly Savalas birthday?

    Telly Savalas was born at 1922-01-21

  • When was Telly Savalas died?

    Telly Savalas was died at 1994-01-22

  • Where was Telly Savalas died?

    Telly Savalas was died in Universal City, California

  • Which age was Telly Savalas died?

    Telly Savalas was died at age 72

  • Where is Telly Savalas's birth place?

    Telly Savalas was born in Garden City, New York, USA

  • What is Telly Savalas nationalities?

    Telly Savalas's nationalities is American

  • Who is Telly Savalas spouses?

    Telly Savalas's spouses is Julie Hovland, Katherine Nicolaides, Marilyn Gardner

  • Who is Telly Savalas siblings?

    Telly Savalas's siblings is George Savalas, Gus Savalas, Teddy Savalas

  • Who is Telly Savalas childrens?

    Telly Savalas's childrens is Ariana Savalas, Candace Savalas, Christian Savalas, Christina Savalas, Nick Savalas, Penélope Savalas

  • What was Telly Savalas universities?

    Telly Savalas studied at Columbia University, Columbia University

  • What was Telly Savalas notable alumnis?

    Telly Savalas's notable alumnis is Columbia University

  • Who is Telly Savalas's father?

    Telly Savalas's father is Nick Savalas

  • Who is Telly Savalas's mother?

    Telly Savalas's mother is Christina

  • What is Telly Savalas's sun sign?

    Telly Savalas is Aquarius

  • How famous is Telly Savalas?

    Telly Savalas is famouse as American singer