Telly Savalas

About Telly Savalas

Aristotelis Savalas (born January 21, 1922 – January 22, 1994), known professionally as Telly Savalas, was an American actor and singer whose career spanned four decades. Noted for his bald head and deep, resonant voice, he is perhaps best known for portraying Lt. Theo Kojak on the crime drama series ‘Kojak’ and ‘James Bond’ archvillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’. 

Savalas’ other roles include ‘Birdman of Alcatraz’, ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’, ‘Battle of the Bulge’, ‘The Dirty Dozen’, ‘Kelly’s Heroes’, ‘Horror Express’, ‘Lisa and the Devil’ and ‘Escape to Athena’. For ‘Birdman of Alcatraz’, he was nominated for the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. 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 as the friend in question could not go, Savalas himself 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

Savalas began as an executive director and then as 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. Before his acting career took off, Savalas directed Scott Vincent and Howard Cosell in ‘Report to New York’, WABC-TV’s first regularly-scheduled news program in fall 1959. Learn More…

Telly Savalas