Telly Savalas

Aristotelis "Telly" Savalas (January 21, 1924 – January 22, 1994) was an American actor and singer whose career spanned four decades of television, noted for his resonant voice and his bald head. He also released the one-hit wonder song, "If?," which he introduced in the UK in 1975.[1]

Savalas's career began in films in 1961. His movie credits include The Young Savages (1961), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), Battle of the Bulge (1965), The Dirty Dozen (1967), The Scalphunters (1968), supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Kelly's Heroes (1970), Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971), Lisa and the Devil (1973), Inside Out (1975), and Escape to Athena (1979). He then starred as television's Kojak (1973–78), co-starring his brother George Savalas. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Birdman of Alcatraz (1962).

Telly Savalas
Telly Savalas Kojak 1973
Telly Savalas, 1973
Aristotelis Savalas

January 21, 1924
DiedJanuary 22, 1994 (aged 70)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California
Alma materColumbia University
Years active1950–1994
Katherine Nicolaides
(m. 1948; div. 1957)

Marilyn Gardner
(m. 1960; div. 1974)

Julie Hovland
(m. 1984; his death 1994)
Partner(s)Sally Adams (1969–78)
Children6 including Ariana Savalas


Early life

The second of five children, Telly Savalas was born Aristotelis Savalas[2] on January 21, 1924, in Garden City, New York, to Greek American parents Christina (née Kapsalis; 1904–88), a New York City artist who was a native of Sparta, and Nick Savalas [Tsavalas] (1904–48), a Greek restaurant owner. One set of grandparents originated from Ierakas, Greece, in the Peloponnese. Savalas and his brother Gus sold newspapers and shined shoes to help support the family.[3]

He initially spoke only Greek when he entered grade school, but learned English. He attended Cobbett Junior High School in Lynn, Massachusetts. He won a spelling bee there in 1934, though through an oversight he did not receive his prize until 1991, when the Boston Herald newspaper and local school principal decided to award it to him.

Savalas entered Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park, New York, and graduated in 1940.[4] After graduation from high school he worked as a lifeguard, but on one occasion was unsuccessful at rescuing a man from drowning, an event that would haunt Savalas for the remainder of his life. When he entered Columbia University School of General Studies, Savalas took courses including English language, radio, and psychology, graduating in 1948.

Savalas also served three years (1943–46) in the U.S. Army during World War II, in which he received a Purple Heart.[5]


After the war he worked for the U.S. State Department as host of the Your Voice of America series, then at ABC News.[6][7]

In 1950 Savalas hosted a radio show called The Coffeehouse in New York City.

TV News

Savalas began as an executive director and then senior director of the news special events at ABC. He then became an executive producer for the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, where he gave Howard Cosell his first job in television.

In the fall of 1959 Savalas directed Scott Vincent and Howard Cosell in "Report to New York," WABC-TV's first local TV news program.[8]

Early Acting Appearances

Savalas did not consider acting as a career until asked if he could recommend an actor who could do a European accent. He did but the friend could not go. Savalas went to cover for his friend and ended up being cast on "And Bring Home a Baby," an episode of Armstrong Circle Theatre in January 1958. He appeared on two more episodes of this same series in 1959 and 1960, one acting alongside a young Sydney Pollack.[9] He was also in a version of The Iceman Cometh.[10]

Savalas quickly became in much demand as a guest star on TV shows, appearing in Sunday Showcase, Diagnosis: Unknown, Dow Hour of Great Mysteries (an adaptation of The Cat and the Canary), Naked City (alongside Claude Rains), The Witness (playing Lucky Luciano in one episode and Al Capone in another), The United States Steel Hour, and The Aquanauts.[11][12]

Savalas was a regular on the short-lived NBC television series Acapulco (1961) with Ralph Taeger and James Coburn.

Feature Films and Burt Lancaster

Savalas made his film debut in Mad Dog Coll (1961), playing a cop.

Savalas's work had impressed Burt Lancaster, who arranged for the actor to be cast as a cop in The Young Savages (1961), directed by John Frankenheimer. Pollack worked on the film as an acting coach.

Savalas returned to guesting on TV series such as The New Breed, King of Diamonds, The Dick Powell Theatre, The Detectives, Ben Casey, The Untouchables, and Cain's Hundred. He appeared in a short film, The Sin of Jesus (1961).

Savalas was a private detective in Cape Fear (1962), directed by J. Lee Thompson. He was reunited with Frankenheimer and Lancaster for Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), one of his most acclaimed performances. He followed it playing a doctor in The Interns (1962).[13]

Savalas guest starred on Alcoa Premiere, The Untouchables again, The Eleventh Hour, The Dakotas, Grindl (the pilot), and Empire.

He played support roles in some comedies, The Man from the Diners' Club (1962) with Danny Kaye and Love Is a Ball (1962) with Glenn Ford and was in the gangster film Johnny Cool (1963).[14]

Savalas guest starred on 77 Sunset Strip, The Twilight Zone (the episode "Living Doll" ), Channing, Arrest and Trial, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Breaking Point, Kraft Suspense Theatre (several times, once directed by Pollack), The Rogues, and Burke's Law.

Savlas reprised his Interns role in The New Interns (1964) and made a TV movie Fanfare for a Death Scene (1964).

Going bald

Savalas shaved his head to play Pontius Pilate in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) and kept his head shaven for the rest of his life.[15]

He was reunited with Thompson in John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! (1965) and was one of many names in Genghis Khan (1965).

Savalas guested on Bonanza and Run for Your Life, then was in Pollack's feature film debut as director, The Slender Thread (1965), playing a psychiatrist.

He had a supporting role in box-office flop Battle of the Bulge (1965) and guest-starred on The Virginian, Combat!, The Fugitive, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (episodes released as The Karate Killers), The F.B.I., and Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre. He also played the villainous sergeant in Beau Geste (1966).

The Dirty Dozen

Savalas had a showy role in The Dirty Dozen (1967), playing a role that Jack Palance turned down, Archer Maggott, the worst of the dozen. It was a huge commercial success.

He guest-starred on the TV series Garrison's Gorillas and Cimarron Strip, then focused on features. He did an action film directed by Brian Hutton, Sol Madrid (1968), then did a Western with Lancaster and Pollack, The Scalphunters (1968).

Savalas was in two comedies, Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell (1968), one of his favorite roles, and The Assassination Bureau (1969) and did an all-star action film for Thompson, Mackenna's Gold (1969).[16] He attributed his success to "his complete ability to be himself."[17]

Movie Star

1971 Telly Savalas & Sally Field
Telly Savalas and Sally Field in Mongo's Back in Town (1971)

Savalas had his first lead role in a film in Crooks and Coronets (1969), a British crime comedy. More widely seen was the James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), where Savalas played Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Savalas had the lead in a Western shot in Spain, Land Raiders (1970), then was second-billed to Clint Eastwood in the war-heist film Kelly's Heroes (1970), shot in Yugoslavia, directed by Hutton.

He was second-billed to Charles Bronson in an Italian–French crime film, Violent City (1970), then went to Hollywood to support Rock Hudson in Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971).

He did a production of Man and Boy for British TV in 1971, and had lead roles in Clay Pigeon (1971), A Town Called Bastard (1971), Steel Wreath (1971), a TV film with Sally Field, and the Italian actioner Crime Boss(1972).

He had good support roles in Sonny and Jed (1972), a spaghetti Western; Horror Express (1972), a Spanish horror film with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee; and Visions of Death (1972), a TV movie.

He had the lead in a series of European films: L'assassino . . . è al telefono (1972), an Italian giallo; Pancho Villa (1972), playing the title role in a Spanish spaghetti Western; A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die (1972), another Western, this time with James Coburn; and Senza ragione (1973), an Italian thriller.

"I had worked my way up to star billing," he later said, "when the bottom dropped out of the movie business. I could have stayed in Europe and made Italian movies but I discovered the big difference between an Italian and American movie is that in the American movie you get paid."[18]


Savalas first played Detective Kojak in the TV movie The Marcus–Nelson Murders (CBS, 1973), which was based on the real-life Career Girls Murder case.[19] Savalas's character was named Theo Kojak in his first appearance.

He starred in the TV movie She Cried Murder (1973) and the film Lisa and the Devil (1973) before going into the Kojak series.

Lt. Theodore "Theo" Kojak was a bald New York City detective with a fondness for lollipops and whose tagline was "Who loves ya, baby?" (He also liked to say, "Everybody should have a little Greek in them.") Although the lollipop gimmick was added in order to indulge his sweet tooth, Savalas also smoked heavily onscreen—cigarettes, cigarillos and cigars—throughout the first season's episodes. The lollipops, which Savalas later admitted had given him three cavities, were also part of an (unsuccessful) effort by Kojak (and Savalas himself) to curb his smoking. The critic Clive James explained the lead actor's appeal as Kojak: "Telly Savalas can make bad slang sound like good slang and good slang sound like lyric poetry. It isn't what he is, so much as the way he talks, that gets you tuning in."[20]

David Shipman later wrote: "Kojak was sympathetic to outcasts and ruthless with social predators. The show maintained a high quality to the end, mixing tension with some laughs and always anxious to tackle civic issues, one of its raisons d’etre in the first place. It was required viewing in Britain every Saturday evening for eight years. To almost everyone everywhere Kojak means Savalas and vice versa, but to Savalas himself the series was merely an interval, albeit a long one, in a distinguished career."[21]

Savalas was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series two years in succession, winning the Emmy in 1974. He was also nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Drama Series from 1975 to 1978, winning twice, in 1975 and 1976. His younger brother George played the regular role of Detective Stavros—a sensitive, wild-haired, quiet, comedic foil to Kojak's street-wise humor in an otherwise dark dramatic TV series.[22]

Kevin Dobson played the role of Kojak's trusted young partner, Det. Bobby Crocker. The on-screen chemistry of Savalas and Dobson was a success story of 1970s television.[23][24]

During the series' run, Savalas also starred in the films Inside Out (1975) and The Diamond Mercenaries (1976) and had a support part in Capricorn One (1977) for Lew Grade. He wrote, directed, and appeared in a thriller Beyond Reason (1977 film) (1977, not released until 1985).[25]

In 1978, after five seasons and 118 episodes, CBS canceled the show because of low ratings. Savalas was unhappy about the show's demise, but he got the chance to reprise the Kojak persona in several television films.[26]


After the series' cancellation, Savalas did Escape to Athena (1978) and a cameo in The Muppet Movie (1979) for Grade. He had a support part in Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979) and The French Atlantic Affair (1980) and the lead in Border Cop (1980).[27]

Savalas returned to Alcatraz in Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story (1980) and starred in a pilot for a TV series Hellinger's Law (1981).[28]

He did "My Pallikar" for American Playhouse (1982), Fake-Out (1982) with Pia Zadora, Cannonball Run II (1984), The Cartier Affair (1984), and an episode of The Love Boat.[29]

Return of Kojak

Savalas reprised his role of Kojak in a TV movie, Kojak: The Belarus File (1985).[30]

Savalas was one of many names in Alice in Wonderland (1985), then did Kojak: The Price of Justice (1987). He did a Dirty Dozen sequel, The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission (1987), playing an entirely new character.[31]

Savalas guest-starred in The Equalizer and J.J. Starbuck and was in Faceless (1987), The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission (1988), The Hollywood Detective (1989), Kojak: Fatal Flaw (1989), Kojak: Ariana (1989), Kojak: None So Blind (1990), Kojak: It's Always Something (1990), and Kojak: Flowers for Matty (1990).

He did an Australian miniseries, Rose Against the Odds (1991).

Final Years

Savalas's final appearances were in episodes of The Commish (his son-in-law was one of the producers) and the films Mind Twister (1993) and Backfire! (1995).[16]

Other career achievements

As a singer, Savalas had some chart success. His spoken word version of Bread's "If" produced by Snuff Garrett reached #1 in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland in March 1975, and his sung version of Don Williams's "Some Broken Hearts Never Mend" topped the charts in Switzerland in February 1981.[32] He worked with composer and producer John Cacavas on many albums, including Telly (1974) and Who Loves Ya, Baby (1976).

In the late 1970s Savalas narrated three UK travelogues titled Telly Savalas Looks at Portsmouth, Telly Savalas Looks at Aberdeen, and Telly Savalas Looks at Birmingham. These were produced by Harold Baim and were examples of quota quickies, which were then part of a requirement that cinemas in the United Kingdom show a set percentage of British produced films.[33] He also hosted the 1989 video UFOs and Channeling. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Savalas appeared in commercials for the Players' Club Gold Card. In 1982 along with Bob Hope and Linda Evans, he participated in the "world premiere" television ad introducing Diet Coke to Americans.[34] On October 28, 1987, Savalas hosted Return to the Titanic Live, a two-hour television special broadcast from Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie in Paris.[35][36]

Savalas appeared on the Australian supernatural television show The Extraordinary, in which he told a personal ghost story similar to the vanishing hitchhiker.

In the late 1980s Savalas guest-starred on an episode of The Equalizer, which was produced by James McAdams, who had produced Kojak. He played a terrorist turned monk in the episode titled "Blood and Wine." He has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1999 TV Guide ranked him number 18 on its 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time list.[37]

Personal life

Savalas Brothers 1980
The Savalas brothers (l-r): Teddy, Telly, Gus & George

Savalas was married three times. In 1948 after his father's death from bladder cancer, Savalas married his college sweetheart, Katherine Nicolaides. Daughter Christina, named after his mother, was born in 1950. In 1957 Katherine filed for divorce. She urged him to move back to his mother's house during that same year. While Savalas was going broke, he founded the Garden City Theater Center in his native Garden City. While working there he met Marilyn Gardner, a theater teacher. They married in 1960. Marilyn gave birth to daughter Penelope in 1961. A second daughter, Candace, was born in 1963. They divorced in 1974, after a long separation.

In January 1969, while working on the movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Savalas met actress Sally Adams (billed as Dani Sheridan, one of Blofeld's "Angels of Death"), a small-time actress 25 years his junior whose daughter from a previous relationship is Nicollette Sheridan. Savalas later moved in with Sally, who gave birth to their son Nicholas Savalas on February 24, 1973. Although Savalas and Sally Adams never legally married, she went by the name Sally Savalas.[38] They stopped living together in December 1978; she filed a palimony lawsuit against him in 1980, demanding support not only for herself and their son, but also for Nicollette.[38]

In 1977, during the last season of Kojak, he met Julie Hovland, a travel agent from Minnesota. They were married in 1984 and had two children together, Christian and Ariana. Julie and Telly remained married until his death. Christian Savalas is an entrepreneur, singer, and songwriter. Ariana Savalas is an actress and singer/songwriter. Julie Savalas is an inventor and artist.

Telly Savalas held a degree in psychology and was a world-class poker player who finished 21st at the main event in the 1992 World Series of Poker, as well as a motorcycle racer and lifeguard. His other hobbies and interests included golfing, swimming, reading romantic books, watching football, traveling, collecting luxury cars, and gambling. He loved horse racing and bought a racehorse with movie director and producer Howard W. Koch. Naming the horse Telly's Pop, it won several races in 1975 including the Norfolk Stakes and Del Mar Futurity.[39][40]

In his capacity as producer for Kojak, he gave many stars their first break, as Burt Lancaster did for him. He was considered by those who knew him to be a generous, graceful, compassionate man. He was also a strong contributor to his Greek Orthodox roots through the Saint Sophia and Saint Nicholas cathedrals in Los Angeles and was the sponsor of bringing electricity in the 1970s to his ancestral home, Ierakas, Greece. Savalas was also Jennifer Aniston's godfather.

Savalas had a minor physical handicap in that his left index finger was deformed.[41] This deformed digit was often indicated on screen; Kojak episode "Conspiracy of Fear" in which a close-up of Savalas holding his chin in his hand clearly shows the permanently bent finger. As a philanthropist and philhellene, Savalas supported many Hellenic causes and made friends in major cities around the world. In Chicago, Telly often met with Illinois state senators Steven G. Nash and Samuel Maragos, also Greeks, as well as Greek millionaire Simeon Frangos, who owned the Athens North nightclub and the Flying Carpet Hotel near O'Hare Airport.

In 1993 Savalas appeared on an Australian TV show, The Extraordinary with a paranormal tale where Savalas talked about an experience that he had that he could not explain.[42][43]

Deaths of relatives and later years

After Savalas came back to reprise his role on Kojak in the 1980s, he began to lose close relatives. His brother George Savalas, who played Detective Stavros on the original Kojak series, died in 1985 of leukemia at age 60. His mother Christina, who had always been his best friend, supporter, and devoted parent, died in 1988. Later that year, Savalas was diagnosed with transitional cell cancer of the bladder. While undergoing treatment, he continued to act, including a recurring role on The Commish.


Savalas died on January 22, 1994, just one day after his 70th birthday, of complications of cancer of the bladder and prostate[44] at the Sheraton-Universal Hotel in Universal City, California.[45] He had lived at the Sheraton in Universal City for 20 years, becoming such a fixture at the hotel bar that it was renamed Telly's.[46] Savalas was interred at the George Washington section of Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. The funeral, held in the Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, was attended by his third wife, Julie, and his brother Gus. His first two wives, Katherine and Marilyn, also attended with their own children. The mourners included Angie Dickinson, Nicollette Sheridan, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Sorbo, Sally Adams, Frank Sinatra, Don Rickles, and several of Savalas' Kojak co-stars – Kevin Dobson, Dan Frazer, and Vince Conti.

Movie roles

His silver screen career usually had him cast as the villain in such films as:

Other movie roles where Savalas played the hero were:


  1. ^ "What The What Telly Savalas Had a 1 Hi Song on this Date in 1975". March 9, 2015. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  2. ^ Richardson, Lisa (January 23, 1994). "`Kojak' Star Telly Savalas Dies at 70". Retrieved December 10, 2009.
  3. ^ "Telly Savalas Biography (1924-1994)". The Biography Channel. A+E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  4. ^ Wende Hyland and Roberta Haynes (1975). How to make it in Hollywood. Nelson-Hall. p. 135. ISBN 9780882292397.
  5. ^ `Kojak' Star Telly Savalas Dies at 70: [Home Edition] Richardson, Lisa. Los Angeles Times January 23, 1994: 1.
  6. ^ Greeks Around the World. Apopsē Cultural Centre. 1999. p. 178. ISBN 9789608513938.
  7. ^ "FACE OF THE DAY: Telly Savalas; Still suckers for a seventies cop". The Herald. July 17, 2001.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Circle Theater Looks, Decides Not to Leap Wolters, Larry. Chicago Daily Tribune (Oct 30, 1960: nwE.
  10. ^ O'Neill Play Takes Long Night Journey: Iceman Cometh in Own Good Time, but Has Plenty to Say Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times August 30, 1961: 25.
  11. ^ THE TV SCENE---: All World Gets Red's Message Smith, Cecil. Los Angeles Times September 29, 1960: A13
  12. ^ NEWS OF TV AND RADIO: Kovacs To Satirize Private Eyes in a Max Liebman Production -- Items By VAL ADAMS. New York Times November 27, 1960: X13.
  13. ^ Savalas Savvies Tragedy of Success: TELLY SAVALAS Alpert, Don. Los Angeles Times August 19, 1962: N5.
  14. ^ Eiko Taki, Laurel Goodwin New Finds: They Have It or They Don't; Pre-Sell Buildups Too Costly Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times October 23, 1962: C9.
  15. ^ Telly Savalas turns joke into stardom Petersen, Clarence. Chicago Tribune June 18, 1973: b16.
  16. ^ a b Retro Seriously, He'd Rather Go for Laughs: [Home Edition] King, Susan. Los Angeles Times February 21, 1993: 15
  17. ^ Telly Savalas---an Actor by Instinct Page, Don. Los Angeles Times September 27, 1967: d18.
  18. ^ Telly Savalas: he's a latecomer who's made every role count Adler, Dick. Los Angeles Times January 20, 1974: k2.
  19. ^ "Thomas J. Cavanagh Jr., 82, Who Inspired 'Kojak,' Dies" published by The New York Times, Sunday, August 4, 1996.
  20. ^ Clive James Visions Before Midnight ISBN 0-330-26464-8
  21. ^ Obituary: Telly Savalas: [3 Edition] Shipman, David. The Independent25 Jan 1994.
  22. ^ Telly Savalas's mother is not impressed! Beck, Marilyn. Chicago Tribune December 14, 1975: h7.
  23. ^ After the show's cancellation, Dobson went on to further fame in the popular prime-time 1980s soap opera Knots Landing. As a result, he did not appear in a majority of Kojak TV movies. Savalas and Dobson were reunited on-screen for one last time when they appeared together in the 1990 TV movie Kojak: It's Always Something, where Dobson's character was a lawyer—similar to his role on Knots Landing—instead of a police officer. Crocker, specifically, was a prosecutor in the storyline; his police experience had evidently given him a rich background from which he could draw when he studied for his law degree. Kevin Dobson said of his first meeting with Telly Savalas: "The moment I met Telly Savalas, we shook hands and our eyes met and locked and the chemistry was there." He also added: "The lollipop started in the 5th show. We were in Kojak's office and Telly said, 'Hey, Kevin, I need somethin' here.' George handed Telly an apple and I said, 'no,' and a stagehand was standing off to the side (half asleep) with a lollipop jammed into his shirt pocket, along with cigs, pens, toothbrush, etc., and I said, 'Yo, the lollipop,' as I motioned with my fingers (gimme the tootsie pop), and then said, 'Telly, here yah go!' Thus, the beginning of the 'lollipop cop.'" Kevin Dobson's post to Kojak Fans Facebook page, June 17, 2011. He also said about Telly Savalas's new determination off the Kojak set: "He wanted to stop smoking. A friend of mine on the set had a lollipop in his shirt pocket, so I flipped it to him. . . . That started the lollipop cop.""Where Are They Now? Kevin Dobson's Kojack's Sidekick". Boomer June 16, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  24. ^ KOJAK HAS A HORSE THAT HAS NEVER BEEN CAUGHT: ... 'Four horses just finished in front of him this time,' Telly Savalas says. His confidence in Telly's Pop is unshaken. Incomplete Source Chapin, Dwight. Los Angeles Times April 14, 1976: oc_b1
  25. ^ FILM CLIPS: Telly Savalas Tackles the Devil Lee, Grant. Los Angeles Times June 1, 1977: f6.
  26. ^ Friends remember Kojak star: Cancer claims Savalas, 70: [FINAL Edition] The Windsor Star January 24, 1994: B6.
  27. ^ Telly Savalas works for return of 'Kojak' Beck, Marilyn. Chicago Tribune October 10, 1978: a8.
  28. ^ Telly Savalas' new show stalls Beck, Marilyn. Chicago Tribune March 6, 1980: a11
  29. ^ Obituary: Telly Savalas Barker, Dennis. The Guardian January 24, 1994.
  30. ^ TELLY SAVALAS: /Kojak Is Back TELLY SAVALAS BY MICHAEL E. HILL. The Washington Post February 10, 1985: PAGE3.
  31. ^ THE MARVIN KITMAN SHOW The New-Old Telly's Back, Baby: [ALL EDITIONS] Kitman, Marvin. Newsday February 20, 1987: 05.
  32. ^ "Discography Telly Savalas".
  33. ^ "Kojak's kinda town". BBC. April 29, 2008. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
  34. ^ "Insights". Insights. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013.
  35. ^ Corry, John (October 29, 1987). "TV Review; Safe From Titanic Is Opened". The New York Times. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  36. ^ Ringle, Ken (October 29, 1987). "'Titanic ... Live' A Night to Forget". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  37. ^ TV Guide Guide to TV. Barnes and Noble. 2004. p. 596. ISBN 0-7607-5634-1.
  38. ^ a b "The Bulletin - Google News Archive Search".
  39. ^ "People, Feb. 23, 1976". TIME. February 23, 1976. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
  40. ^ "Owner Koch dead at 84". Thoroughbred Times. February 17, 2001. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
  41. ^ Who2: Celebs Missing Fingers, accessed January 15, 2010
  42. ^ Telly Savalas' Ghost Story. July 25, 2013 – via YouTube.
  43. ^ "The Bruising Adventures of Girl Clumsy: I'll Give You a Ride - Remembering "The Extraordinary"".
  44. ^ Henkel, John (December 1994). "Prostate Cancer: New Tests Create Treatment Dilemmas". FDA Consumer. BNET. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2009.
  45. ^ "Sheraton Universal Hotel". Archived from the original on December 8, 2010.
  46. ^ Telly's Favorite Hotel Knew Him as a Regular Guy Los Angeles Times January 25, 1994
  47. ^ Monush, Barry, ed. (2003). Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors: From the silent era to 1965, Volume 1. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 664. ISBN 9781557835512. In 1977, he directed, wrote, produced, and starred in Beyond Reason, playing a psychiatrist having an affair with a patient, but after sitting on the shelf for years, it ended up going directly to cable outlets and video shelves.
  48. ^ "New Releases - Albums". Billboard. June 8, 1985.

External links

A Town Called Bastard

A Town Called Bastard (also known as A Town Called Hell on DVD and blu-ray) is a 1971 British/Spanish international co-production spaghetti Western. The story concerns a vengeful widow (Stella Stevens) who returns to a small town presided over by a priest (Robert Shaw) and a sadistic Mexican outlaw (Telly Savalas). Violence erupts when a brutal army Colonel (Martin Landau) arrives in search of an elusive rebel leader. The film was retitled A Town Called Hell for US release as the word "bastard" was thought offensive.

Beyond Reason (1977 film)

Beyond Reason is an independent film directed, starring, and written by Telly Savalas that was produced in 1977. Originally titled Mati, after the title character Dr. Nicholas Mati, the film focused on a psychiatrist who struggles with his grip on reality. Diana Muldaur also starred in the film as Elaine Mati, the doctor's concerned wife. The film was not released theatrically, and became available on home media in 1985.

Clay Pigeon (film)

Clay Pigeon is a 1971 American action film directed by Lane Slate and Tom Stern and written by Ronald Buck, Jack Gross Jr. and Buddy Ruskin. The film stars Tom Stern, Telly Savalas, Robert Vaughn, John Marley, Burgess Meredith and Ivan Dixon. The film was released on August 1971, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Crooks and Coronets

Crooks and Coronets is a 1969 British crime comedy film and/or heist movie written and directed by Jim O'Connolly. It starred Telly Savalas, Edith Evans, Warren Oates, Cesar Romero and Harry H. Corbett. The film was renamed as Sophie's Place for the US market.

Genghis Khan (1965 film)

Genghis Khan is a 1965 Technicolor film depicting the life and conquests of the Mongol emperor Genghis Khan in Panavision. It was released in the United Kingdom and the United States in 1965 by Columbia Pictures, it was directed by Henry Levin and featured Omar Sharif, who that same year starred in another epic, Doctor Zhivago. The film also included James Mason, Stephen Boyd, Eli Wallach, Françoise Dorléac and Telly Savalas.

A 70 mm version of the film was released by CCC Film in West Germany. It was filmed in Yugoslavia.

Johnny Cool

Johnny Cool is a 1963 American neo noir crime film directed by William Asher based on the novel The Kingdom of Johnny Cool by John McPartland which stars Henry Silva and Elizabeth Montgomery. Produced in part by Peter Lawford, Johnny Cool features a cast that also includes Mort Sahl, Telly Savalas, Jim Backus, Joey Bishop, and Sammy Davis, Jr., who also sings the theme song.

Killer Force

Killer Force, also known as The Diamond Mercenaries, is a 1976 thriller film directed by Val Guest and starring Telly Savalas, Peter Fonda and Christopher Lee. It was a co-production between the Republic of Ireland, Switzerland and the United States and was filmed primarily in South Africa. Its plot is about a gang of criminals who plan a major robbery of a diamond mine.


Kojak is an American action crime drama television series starring Telly Savalas as the title character, New York City Police Department Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak. Taking the time slot of the popular Cannon series, it aired on CBS from 1973 to 1978.

In 1999 TV Guide ranked Theo Kojak number 18 on its 50 Greatest TV Characters of All Time list.

Mind Twister

Mind Twister is a 1994 American erotic thriller film directed by Fred Olen Ray, written by Mark Thomas McGee, and produced by Luigi Cingolani and Smart Egg Pictures.

After the profitable release of his previous erotic thriller Inner Sanctum, Ray saw potential for the genre in the direct-to-video market and helmed the production of a number of these films during the early-to-mid 1990s. Mind Twister debuted theatrically for distributors at the 1993 American Film Market. It was eventually picked up and released by VCI Home Video in early 1994. Mind Twister is one of the final acting roles for Telly Savalas before his death the same year. The movie received an overall below-average response from critics.

Mongo's Back in Town

Mongo's Back in Town is a 1971 crime television film, directed by Marvin J. Chomsky, with Telly Savalas, Joe Don Baker and Martin Sheen. It was released in some regions under the title Steel Wreath.

Pancho Villa (film)

Pancho Villa is a 1972 American, British and Spanish spaghetti western film directed by Eugenio Martín. The film features Telly Savalas, Clint Walker, Chuck Connors and Anne Francis. Shot in Spain, this "brawling spectacle" has an often-overlooked light-comedy satirical facet, which to this day often confuses the viewers. The storyline was developed during the Vietnam War and reflected certain antiwar sentiments in an American society.


Savalas is a surname of Greek origin that may refer to:

Ariana Savalas (born 1987), American musician, daughter of Telly Savalas

George Savalas (1924–1985), American actor, brother of Telly Savalas

Telly Savalas (1922–1994), American actor

Sol Madrid

Sol Madrid is a 1968 film directed by Brian G. Hutton and filmed in Acapulco. It was released in the UK as The Heroin Gang. The MGM film starred *David McCallum, Stella Stevens, Telly Savalas and Ricardo Montalban with John Cassavetes being replaced by Rip Torn prior to filming. It was the final film of Paul Lukas.

Some Broken Hearts Never Mend

"Some Broken Hearts Never Mend" is a song written by Wayland Holyfield, and recorded by American country music artist Don Williams. It was released in January 1977 as the first single from the album Visions. "Some Broken Hearts Never Mend" was Don Williams' sixth number one on the country chart. The single stayed at number one for a single week and spent a total of 12 weeks within the top 40.The song was also an international hit for Telly Savalas. It topped the Swiss charts for two weeks, and peaked at No. 2 in Austria and No. 4 in Netherlands.The Bellamy Brothers covered the song in 1999 in a reggae style for the album Reggae Cowboy. This version was also a single, but did not chart.

Sonny and Jed

Sonny and Jed (Italian: La banda J. & S. - Cronaca criminale del Far-West, lit. "The Band of J. & S. - Criminal Chronicle of the Far West") is a 1972 Italian Spaghetti Western film about a sheriff's (Sheriff Franciscus, played by Telly Savalas) relentless effort to stop a robber (Jed, played by Tomas Milian) and his girlfriend (Sonny, played by Susan George). The film was directed by Sergio Corbucci and is noted for its music, scored by Ennio Morricone.

The Assassination Bureau

The Assassination Bureau Limited (a.k.a. The Assassination Bureau in the United States) is a 1969 UK black comedy adventure film in Technicolor, produced by Michael Relph, directed by Basil Dearden, that stars Oliver Reed, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas, and Curd Jürgens. It is based on an unfinished novel, The Assassination Bureau, Ltd by Jack London. Unlike London's novel, which is set in the United States, the film is set in Europe. The film was released in the U.S. by Paramount Pictures.

The Scalphunters

The Scalphunters is a 1968 American western film starring Burt Lancaster, Ossie Davis and Telly Savalas. The film was directed by Sydney Pollack, with the score written by Elmer Bernstein. Davis was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film. Filming took place in Sierra de Órganos National Park in the town of Sombrerete, Mexico

The Slender Thread

The Slender Thread is a 1965 American drama film starring Anne Bancroft and Sidney Poitier. It was the first feature-length film directed by Academy Award-winning director, producer and actor Sydney Pollack.

Poitier portrays Alan, a college student who is volunteering at Seattle's then-new Crisis Clinic, a crisis call center. Shortly after beginning his night shift, Alan receives a call from a woman named Inga (Bancroft) who says she has just taken a lethal dose of pills and wants to talk to someone before she dies. The story line follows the efforts of Alan, a psychiatrist (Telly Savalas) and a detective (Ed Asner) to locate Inga and her husband (Steven Hill). Various flashback scenes depict the events that led Inga to make the attempt on her life.

The film was inspired by a Life magazine article by Shana Alexander about actual events and partially shot on location in Seattle, Washington. The film offers an opening tracking shot of aerial Seattle circa 1965.

This movie is noted for the physical tracing of the call to find Inga (Bancroft) before she dies. Throughout the movie, the call is traced by hand through several electro-mechanical telephone central office switches which leads to the hotel where Inga was staying (originally the Hyatt House, now demolished) near the Seattle-Tacoma Airport.

Violent City

Violent City (Italian: Città violenta), also known as The Family, is a 1970 Italian-French film directed by Sergio Sollima and starring Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland and Telly Savalas. Set and shot in the city of New Orleans, the film is an urban crime thriller with a plot of hitman revenge.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.