After portraying Pontius Pilate in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), he chose to remain completely bald and this signature look, somewhere between the comic and the ominous, stood him in good stead in the years that followed.
At first, Telly was an executive director and then senior director of the news special events at ABC, Savalas then became an executive producer for the "Gillette Cavalcade of Sports," where he gave Howard Cosell his first job.
Attended Columbia University in New York, New York.
Before becoming an actor, he had many odd jobs, from newspaper vendor to lifeguard.
Best remembered by the public for his starring role as the title character in "Kojak" (1973).
Born on the same day as Benny Hill, who impersonated Savalas's "Kojak" (1973) character on "The Benny Hill Show" (1969).
Did the narration on several tourist information films on British Cities during the 1970s. Apparently he recorded them all during one visit to the UK to promote his Kojak show.
Early in his career he played mainly brutish criminals until he changed his image completely in the 1970s, when he was cast as a homicide detective in the acclaimed TV-movie "Kojak: The Marcus-Nelson Murders (#1.0)" (1973) and its spin-off series, "Kojak" (1973).
Early in his career, he directed stage plays at a theater in Connecticut.
Enjoyed watching "Jeopardy!" (1984).
Father of Christina Savalas (born 1950) (with Katherine Nicolaides); Candace Savalas (born 1963) and Penelope Savalas (born 1961) (with Marilyn Gardner); Nick Savalas (with Sally Sheridan); and Christian Savalas (born 1985) and Ariana Savalas (with Julie Hovland).
Godfather of Jennifer Aniston
Graduated from Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park, New York, in 1940.
Had a fear of flying. Ironically, he played a pilot in Capricorn One (1977).
Has the distinction of playing two Alcatraz prison inmates; Feto Gomez in Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) and Cretzer in Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story (1980) (TV).
He didn't appear in his first film until he was 37.
He had many hobbies including golfing, swimming, gambling, collecting luxury cars, spending time with his family, horse racing, motorcycle racing, watching football and reading romantic books.
He used off-script phrases and mottoes in Greek during filming.