Known for movies

Short Info

Date Of BirthJanuary 21, 1922
DiedJanuary 22, 1994, Universal City, California, United States
SpouseJulie Hovland (m. 1984–1994), Marilyn Gardner (m. 1960–1974), Katherine Nicolaides (m. 1948–1957)
MarkDeep, gravelly voice.
FactHis eldest daughter, Christina, was named after his mother.

Telly Savalas was an American actor and singer, best known for his starring role as Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak on the CBS police drama Kojak (1973–78).

Early Life

Savalas was born on January 21, 1922, in Garden City, New York, the son of Greek immigrants. His father, Nick Savalas, was a waiter and his mother, Christina, was a homemaker. He had four brothers: Gus, George, Paul, and Steve.

Savalas attended Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park, New York, and graduated in 1940. He then enrolled at Columbia University in New York City, where he studied psychology and sociology. He interrupted his studies after the United States entered World War II and joined the United States Army. He served in the Army from 1942 to 1945.

After the war, Savalas returned to Columbia University and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1948. He then enrolled at the Actors Studio in New York City.


Savalas began his career in the early 1950s as a supporting actor on television. He appeared on such shows as The Phil Silvers Show, The Untouchables, and Naked City.

In 1960, Savalas guest-starred on an episode of The Twilight Zone titled “The Four of Us Are Dying”. The episode was later adapted into a book by Rod Serling.

In 1967, Savalas appeared in the film The Dirty Dozen as the character Maggot. The film was a critical and commercial success.

In 1973, Savalas was cast as Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak in the CBS police drama Kojak. The show was a hit and ran for five seasons. Savalas won an Emmy Award for his performance on the show in 1974.

In 1978, Savalas appeared in the film Capricorn One. The film was a box office success.

In 1980, Savalas guest-starred on an episode of Magnum, P.I..

In 1984, Savalas appeared in the film The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission. The film was a box office success.

In 1985, Savalas guest-starred on an episode of Miami Vice.

In 1986, Savalas appeared in the film The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission. The film was a box office success.

In 1987, Savalas guest-starred on an episode of Hunter.

In 1988, Savalas appeared in the film The Dirty Dozen: The Final Mission. The film was a box office success.

Savalas continued to appear in films and television throughout the 1990s and 2000s. His final film appearance was in the 2009 film Inglourious Basterds.

Savalas died of bladder cancer on January 22, 1994, at the age of 72.

General Info

Full NameTelly Savalas
Date Of BirthJanuary 21, 1922
DiedJanuary 22, 1994, Universal City, California, United States
Height1.78 m
ProfessionActor, Singer, Television Director
EducationColumbia University School of General Studies, Sewanhaka High School, Columbia University


SpouseJulie Hovland (m. 1984–1994), Marilyn Gardner (m. 1960–1974), Katherine Nicolaides (m. 1948–1957)
ChildrenAriana Savalas, Nick Savalas, Candace Savalas, Christian Savalas, Penélope Savalas, Christina Savalas
ParentsChristina Savalas, Nick Savalas
SiblingsGeorge Savalas, Gus Savalas, Teddy Savalas


AwardsPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama, People's Choice Award for Favorite Male TV Performer
NominationsAcademy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role, TV Land Favorite Private Eye A...
MoviesOn Her Majesty's Secret Service, Kelly's Heroes, The Dirty Dozen, Birdman of Alcatraz, Horror Express, Battle of the Bulge, The Scalphunters, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Mackenna's Gold, Cape Fear, Pretty Maids All in a Row, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, Lisa and the Devil, Escape to Athena, The ...
TV ShowsKojak, Acapulco

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1Bald head.
2Deep, gravelly voice.
3Several of his characters have a Greek personality.
4Frequently plays dangerous, tough characters.
5The catchphrase, "Who loves ya, baby?"


1[When he was relaxing, shooting exteriors along with some interior scenes for next season's Kojak (1973)]: Everybody's always telling me they have an Uncle Harry who looks just like me. That's 90% of my appeal.
2[In 1976]: I'm just a kid from New York who looks like everybody else.
3[Who didn't need to worry so much about the Titanic show, when he agreed to host it]: I didn't need any assurance that there would be anything in the safe. The fact that these guys went down 2 1/2 miles and came up with anything was an achievement in itself. I've been making believe as a detective for so long, that it was very exciting to be involved in something very, very real.
4[In 1981]: It was in 1959 I got my first role. I was to play the Greek judge who decides to give a Greek boy to a visiting American journalist. It was a small role and paid only $200, but I haven't stopped since.
5[on being a spelling winner]: I'm thrilled that's what I called 'the greatest frustration of my life,' will finally be righted.
6On 'Kojak,' I improvise a lot of the dialogue. And I've directed five episodes of the series so I've had some experience at it...The talent was given me at an early age. What the hell, I've been directing things since I was a year old.
7[In 1977]: It will be a sad day when I begin thinking of all this as work. I enjoy every minute of it.
8[In 1975]: Kojak is no supercop. I'm just a neighborhood kid.
9[When he was visiting in New York City]: I'm hoping that you're not caught in the layoffs.
10[When reflected the times he had with his father]: Our happiest times were at the bottom of the ladder. One day he dragged us out of private schools, and the next day we started peddling cakes out of the back of a truck.
11[After he graduated from college who then became disenchanted]: This bastard! This gangster Freud! It's all crap-just a language for unemployed actors to amuse themselves with!
12[Who had been offered a series wasn't getting used to all the police shows on TV that have been aired at the time]: Television doesn't need another cop show, that's for sure. But this is an interesting cop, a real cop from a New York City neighborhood. A basically honest character, tough but with feelings: the kind of guy who might kick a hooker in the tail if he had to, but they'd understand each other because maybe they grew up on the same kind of block.
13[on his popularity while playing the fifty-something Lt. Theo Kojak on Kojak]: There's no question that experience is more important and rewarding to someone who is an actor. My approach to Kojak in any situation would be my own approach. How I would react and respond? That's basically true whether I'm portraying a cop or a candlestick maker.
14Proof that diamonds are a girl's best friend, would be displayed only in the most select museums in the world.
15[When he became a popular nightclub singer]: I had the No. 1 record in England, knocking Mick Jagger off the top of the pops. I to close the generation gap.
16I'm a romantic realist. I knew I would become a star, just as I know some day the bubble will burst.
17[In 1989]: Now, I let someone else do all the running.
18[Of his late father, Nick Savalas]: One day he was a millionaire. The next day, with the Depression, not a penny in his pocket. He packs his five kids in the back of a van and goes to New York and begins selling cakes. That's what I call a Greek.
19I came from a tough neighborhood. I used to be a 'Dirty Greek,' But my father used to say to me, 'When you grow up and realize what your heritage means, then they'll need a permit to speak to you.' He was right. I'm a proud Greek. I carry my Hellenism like a badge of merit.
20[In 1973]: The second show I did on TV, I was the lead. I made $900 and I was having fun saying some other guy's words. This is a dangerous profession for the ego.
21[In 1987]: I made 60 movies before 'Kojak' with some of the biggest names in the business, and people would still say, 'There goes what's-his-name.'
22[Of his mother, Christina Savalas]: Mama says to me, 'Being an actor is fine, but what are you going to do for a living?' I took my mother to the premiere of The Dirty Dozen and she said, 'It's disgraceful!' I asked her how she liked my role and she said, 'You were ridiculous!'
23[on taking the risk of starring in Kojak (1973)]: If they had told me about the series, I never would have done the movie, I got aboard this thing by accident. I wasn't emotionally ready for a series. I like to move around, but now at least 98 per cent of my personality is in abeyance. There is the applause; I love it!
24[In 1974]: Kojak is the kind of guy who couldn't arrest a hooker, he'd send her home. He operates on instinct and decency, but if you give him any lip he'll throw you out a window.
25I don't play that far away from myself because then I think people would say I was acting.
26I was born with a romantic nature and I'll carry it to my grave.
27Even with the crazies I've played I've tried to give some dimension to their insanity.
28[on being offered the role of Kojak (1973)]: I'll do Kojak: The Marcus-Nelson Murders (1973), but I don't want to do a series. How can I do the one role? I mean, I have to verify my life. My life is a variety, I can't be stuck with one character. It won't sell.
29[When he was battling prostate cancer]: The challenge is to live long enough to raise my children.
30[on Clint Eastwood] Off screen Clint is articulate and intelligent, not quiet or laconic like the cowboys and GIs he plays in films.
31Who loves ya, baby?
32We're all born bald, baby.


1He was most widely known to be a social butterfly.
2He was known to be a very busy actor.
3Daughter Ariana sings and tours with Scott Bradlee's Post Modern Jukebox.
4On Kojak (1973), his character was of Greek American heritage, in real-life, Savalas was also of Greek American heritage.
5He had performed a voice over for a 70s nature series on Yosemite National Park.
6On Kojak (1973), he worked with George Savalas's character at the police station, in real-life, Savalas was (of course) George's second older brother.
7He and his The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) co-stars Donald Pleasence and Max von Sydow all later played the Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld: Pleasence in You Only Live Twice (1967), Savalas in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) and von Sydow in Never Say Never Again (1983).
8Singing ran in his family.
9[11 December 1993] When Savalas was hospitalized at Huntington Memorial Hospital for bladder cancer, it had already spread to his hip bones and pancreas and was terminal.
10His birthplace, Garden City, New York, is 24 miles, west of New York City, New York.
11At least nine actors named him as their favorite actor: Bruce Kirby, Catlin Adams, Sally Kirkland, Michael Constantine, Louise Sorel, Ken Kercheval, Tige Andrews, Danny Thomas and Alex Rocco, all nine worked with him on Kojak (1973).
12Was always close to his family.
13Survived by 5 children, 4 grandchildren, 2 brothers, 1 sister and his wife.
14His ex-Kojak (1973) co-star, Kevin Dobson, had said in an interview, he was his best and dearest friend.
15Ernest Borgnine and Angie Dickinson attended his funeral.
16His ex-girlfriend, Sally Sheridan, filed a $5 million palimony suit against Savalas, eventually settling for a reported $1 million.
17Before his death, he was worried about Nick, who had made tabloid headlines with his public spats with his ex-girlfriend Tori Spelling.
18Up until his mother's death in 1988, his mother lived in a suite a few floors above his own at the Sheraton-Universal, with the actor paying all the expenses.
19Long before Carrie McDowell became a member of the Christian pop/dance duo, 'Two Hearts,' with her husband, Michael Hodge, she once opened a show with him, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
20Had attended an audition for the CBS anthology series Armstrong Circle Theatre (1950), intending to prompt an actor friend who was up for a role, in 1959. Instead, the casting director took Savalas's sinister demeanor into account and cast him in a character part, which led to other TV assignments and movie roles.
21His ex-Kojak (1973) co-star, Kevin Dobson and Savalas's best friend, John Aniston, worked together on Days of Our Lives (1965).
22Long lives ran in his family.
23Originated the phrase, "Who Loves Ya, Baby?", for Kojak (1973).
24Before the Depression era of 1929, his father was a millionaire.
25He starred in 56 films, in 21 of them he was cast as a villain.
26Also owned a stone ranch house in Rancho Mirage, California and a luxurious four-bedroom apartment in London, England.
27Met Angie Dickinson in the movie Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971). They were friends until his death in 1994.
28His mother, Christina Kapsalis Savalas, met his father, Nicholas, who had emigrated from the Village of Gerakas, as a youth, in the United States. She was chosen for her beauty to represent Greek women at the 1939 World's Fair.
29His mother, Christina Savalas, had left the village of Anogia, three miles from Sparta, as a child.
30Was a heavy smoker.
31Began his show Kojak (1973) at age 51.
32As 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 famous Athens North nightclub and the Flying Carpet Hotel near O'Hare Airport.
33His brother, Gus Savalas, was a retired Foreign Service Officer who once served four years at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece.
34Resided at the Sheraton-Universal Sheraton Hotel in Universal City, California, from 1973 until his death in 1994, becoming such a fixture at the hotel bar that it was renamed Telly's.
35His father, Nick Savalas, was a hard worker, first at odd jobs, then as a businessman in cigarettes, restaurant supplies and general contracting.
36Along with Bob Hope and Linda Evans, Savalas participated in the 'World Premiere' Television Ad introducing Diet Coke to Americans.
37Acting ran in his family.
38His paternal grandfather, Kostas the Painter, lived to age 100 and became one of the area's most famous artists.
39His parents, Nick and Christina Savalas, met in the United States and immigrated from Greece in 1915.
40Telly Savalas passed away on January 21, 1994. His longtime friend and co-star, Burt Lancaster, passed away 9 months after him.
41A singer, Savalas had some chart success. His spoken word version of Bread's "If" produced by Snuff Garrett was #1 in Europe for 10 weeks in 1975 and his sung version of Don Williams's "Some Broken Hearts Never Mend" topped the charts in 1980.
42Longtime friend Danny Thomas guest-starred on the last episode of Kojak (1973).
43Before he was a successful actor, in the United States Army during World War II, Savalas was working for the US State Department as host of the show, 'Your Voice of America.'.
44Appeared on the front cover of TV Guide 5 times.
45In Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971), he played a police captain, on Kojak (1973), he played a police lieutenant.
46Acting mentor and friend of Kevin Dobson.
47Was a spokesperson for the Ford Motor Company in the early 1980s.
48Most of his enlistment records were destroyed in a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1973.
49Three of his six children followed in their father's footsteps into acting.
50Savalas qualified for the 1992 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Nevada, and he finished among the top 25 players in the tournament.
51His mother, Christina Kapsalis Savalas, was a New York City artist, and his father, Nick Savalas, was the owner of many Greek restaurants.
52Named his son Nick Savalas after his father.
53His final films, Mind Twister (1994) and Backfire! (1995), were dedicated to his memory.
54Never retired from acting.
55Attended the funeral of best friend, Danny Thomas, when the actor passed away in 1991.
56Was good friends with producer/director Irwin Allen, appearing in his Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979), and Alice in Wonderland (1985).
57Lived with Sally Sheridan from 1969 to 1978. Her daughter from a previous relationship is Nicollette Sheridan, who considered Savalas as her father.
58His eldest daughter, Christina, was named after his mother.
59Was raised nearby the same city as Brian Keith.
60Was a spokesperson for the Players' Club Gold Card from 1981 to 1990.
61Remained good friends with Kevin Dobson during and after Kojak (1973).
62He was an active liberal Democrat.
63Worked at the Garden City Theatre Center where he met and fell in love with Marilyn Gardner.
64At 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.
65He wasn't the first choice to audition for Kojak (1973), when Marlon Brando had been offered the role.
66His father, Nick Savalas, died in 1948. His mother, Christina Savalas, died in 1988, at age 84.
67Was very good friends with: Julie London, Doug McClure, Dan Frazer, Diana Rigg, Gavin MacLeod, Bernie Kopell, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Johnny Carson, Robert Conrad, Larry Manetti, George Burns, Karl Malden, Ernest Borgnine, Irwin Allen, Robert Stack, Dinah Shore, Anthony Quinn, Lee Marvin, Burt Lancaster, Angie Dickinson, Danny Thomas, Robert Alda, Jamie Farr, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Elliott Gould, Ricardo Montalban, Charles Bronson, Roddy McDowall, Don Rickles, Gene Barry, Michael Constantine, Rock Hudson, Shelley Winters, Gregory Peck, Dom DeLuise, Barbara Eden, Omar Sharif, David Janssen, Mickey Rooney, Beverly Garland, Mark Russell and George Savalas.
68Best remembered by the public for his starring role as the title character in Kojak (1973).
69Did 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.
70Underwent successful surgery for prostate cancer in 1989, but in 1991 was diagnosed with bladder cancer which spread to his bones and pancreas.
71Loved to read historical biographies and, somewhat surprisingly, romance novels.
72Enjoyed watching Jeopardy! (1984).
73Born on the same day as Benny Hill, who impersonated Savalas's Kojak (1973) character on The Benny Hill Show (1969).
74Uncle of Australian-born actor Peter Cavnoudias.
75He 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 '70s to his ancestral home, Yeraka, Greece.
76His mother, Christina, was a world recognized contemporary of Pablo Picasso, and Savalas himself released several records, the most remembered being his version of "If", that was #1 in Europe for 10 weeks in 1975.
77In 1990 the city of New York declared Kojak: The Marcus-Nelson Murders (1973) as the official movie of New York City, and awarded Telly with the Key to the City. The film was the one that introduced Savalas' most famous character, Lt. Theo Kojak, later made famous on its spin-off series Kojak (1973).
78After 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.
79Loved gambling and was a very successful gambler, winning many Vegas poker tournaments and losing few.
80Owned a wide variety of automobiles, including Cadillacs, Lincolns, Fords, Pontiacs, Mercedes and DeLoreans.
81Was the first choice for the role of Harry Orwell in the TV series Harry O (1973). He declined due to filming commitments in Europe. David Janssen was eventually cast in the role.
82Has the distinction of playing two Alcatraz prison inmates; Feto Gomez in Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) and Cretzer in Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story (1980).
83Had a fear of flying. Ironically, he played a pilot in Capricorn One (1977).
84He didn't appear in his first film until he was 37.
85Of Greek descent and spoke Greek fluently.
86Would always refuse to talk about his service during World War II.
87Met his last wife, Julie Hovland, on the set of Kojak (1973) in 1977. She was a travel agent from Minnesota.
88Graduated from Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park, New York, in 1940.
89Reason why he sucked on a lollipop during Kojak (1973): to help him to quit smoking.
90Left index finger was deformed.
91Hosted a popular radio program, "Telly's Coffeehouse," in the early 1950s.
92Met his first wife (Katherine) at a Greek dance while attending Columbia University.
93Was involved in a serious car accident in Virginia during his hitch in the army.
94When he worked as a lifeguard, he failed to save a man from drowning, and was troubled by the memory forever after.
95Attended Columbia University in New York, New York.
96Interred at the George Washington Section of Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California, USA.
97Purchased a house in the Southern California desert community of Palm Desert because he enjoyed playing golf so much.
98He 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.
99Was the second of 5 children.
100Was a member of Company C, 12th Medical Training Battalion, 4th Medical Training Regiment at Camp Pickett, Virginia.
101Before becoming an actor, he had many odd jobs, from newspaper vendor to lifeguard.
102His son Nick Savalas's half-sister, Nicollette Sheridan, and his former Kojak (1973) co-star, Kevin Dobson, both starred in the popular 1980s soap opera, Knots Landing (1979).
103He was an accomplished poker player.
104Early in his career, he directed stage plays at a theater in Connecticut.
105Was originally slated to play Luke in Cool Hand Luke (1967), but the producers were unable to wait for him to complete his boat trip from Europe to the U.S. (Telly had a severe fear of flying). Therefore, Paul Newman played the role instead.
106Was friends with actor John Aniston and named godfather of Jennifer Aniston.
107Telly Savalas passed away on January 22, 1994. Just 1 day before his death, he celebrated his 72nd and last birthday with his family, friends and colleagues at the Universal Sheraton Inn in Universal City, California.
108Father 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).
109His younger brother, George Savalas, starred in Kojak (1973) with him.
110He used off-script phrases and mottoes in Greek during filming.
111Early 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 (1973) and its spin-off series, Kojak (1973).




Backfire!1995Most Evil Man
Mind Twister1994Richard Howland
The Commish1992-1993TV SeriesTommy Collette Tommy Colette
Ein Schloß am Wörthersee1991-1993TV SeriesTeddy
Rose Against the Odds1991TV MovieGeorge Parnassus
Kojak: Flowers for Matty1990TV MovieInspector Theo Kojak
Kojak: It's Always Something1990TV MovieInspector Theo Kojak
Kojak: None So Blind1990TV MovieInspector Theo Kojak
Kojak: Ariana1989TV MovieKojak
Kojak: Fatal Flaw1989TV MovieTheo Kojak
The Hollywood Detective1989TV MovieHarry Bell
The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission1988TV MovieMaj. Wright
J.J. Starbuck1987TV SeriesThe Greek
The Equalizer1987TV SeriesBrother Joseph Heiden
Faceless1987Terry Hallen
Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission1987TV MovieMaj. Wright
Kojak: The Price of Justice1987TV MovieInspector Theo Kojak
GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords1986Magmar (voice)
Solomon's Universe1985TV MovieSolomon Stark
Alice in Wonderland1985TV MovieThe Cheshire Cat
George Burns Comedy Week1985TV Series
Kojak: The Belarus File1985TV MovieLieutenant Theo Kojak
The Love Boat1985TV SeriesDr. Fabian Cain
The Cartier Affair1984TV MoviePhil Drexler
Cannonball Run II1984Hymie Kaplan
Afghanistan pourquoi?1983Rebel Leader
Fake-Out1982Lt. Thurston
American Playhouse1982TV Series
Tales of the Unexpected1981TV SeriesJoe Brisson
Hellinger's Law1981TV MovieNick Hellinger
Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story1980TV MovieCretzer
Border Cop1980Frank Cooper
Alice1979TV SeriesTelly Savalas
The Muppet Movie1979El Sleezo Tough
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure1979Captain Stefan Svevo
Escape to Athena1979Zeno
The French Atlantic Affair1979TV Mini-SeriesFather Craig Dunleavy
Windows, Doors & Keyholes1978TV Movie
Kojak1973-1978TV SeriesLt. Theo Kojak
Beyond Reason1977Dr. Nicholas Mati
Capricorn One1977Albain
Killer Force1976Harry Webb
Inside Out1975Harry Morgan
The House of Exorcism1975Leandro
Am laufenden Band1975TV SeriesSinger / Kojak
She Cried Murder1973TV MovieInspector Joe Brody
Lisa and the Devil1973Leandro
Senza ragione1973Memphis
A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die1972Maggiore Ward
Pancho Villa1972Pancho Villa
Visions...1972TV MovieLt. Phil Keegan
L'assassino... è al telefono1972Ranko Drasovic
Horror Express1972Captain Kazan
Sonny and Jed1972Sheriff Franciscus
Crime Boss1972Don Vincenzo
Mongo's Back in Town1971TV MovieLieutenant Pete Tolstad
Clay Pigeon1971Redford
A Town Called Hell1971Don Carlos
ITV Saturday Night Theatre1971TV SeriesGregor Antonescu
Pretty Maids All in a Row1971Surcher
The Red Skelton Hour1970TV SeriesTex
The Family1970Al Weber
Kelly's Heroes1970Big Joe
On Her Majesty's Secret Service1969Blofeld
Land Raiders1969Vicente Cardenas
Sophie's Place1969Herbie Haseler
Mackenna's Gold1969Sergeant Tibbs
The Assassination Bureau1969Lord Bostwick
Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell1968Walter Braddock
The Scalphunters1968Jim Howie
Sol Madrid1968Emil Dietrich
Cimarron Strip1967TV SeriesBear
Garrison's Gorillas1967TV SeriesWheeler
The Dirty Dozen1967Archer Maggott
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre1967TV SeriesMueller
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.1967TV SeriesCount Valeriano De Fanzini
The F.B.I.1967TV SeriesEd Clementi
Combat!1964-1967TV SeriesJon / Colonel Kapsalis
Beau Geste1966Sgt. Maj. Dagineau
The Fugitive1964-1966TV SeriesSteve Keller / Victor Leonetti / Dan Polichek
The Virginian1966TV Series'Colonel' Bliss
Battle of the Bulge1965Sgt. Guffy
The Slender Thread1965Dr. Joe Coburn
Run for Your Life1965TV SeriesIstvan Zabor
Bonanza1965TV SeriesCharles Augustus Hackett
Genghis Khan1965Shan
John Goldfarb, Please Come Home!1965Macmuid (Harem Recruiter) (uncredited)
Burke's Law1963-1965TV SeriesBalakirov aka Richard Goldtooth / Charlie Prince / Fakir George O'Shea
The Greatest Story Ever Told1965Pontius Pilate
Fanfare for a Death Scene1964TV MovieIkhedai Khan
The Rogues1964TV SeriesGen. Hector Jesus Diaz
The New Interns1964Dr. Dominick 'Dom' Riccio
Kraft Suspense Theatre1964TV SeriesRamon Castillo / Raymond Castle / Beret
Breaking Point1964TV SeriesVincenzo Gracchi
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour1964TV SeriesPhiladelphia Harry
Arrest and Trial1964TV SeriesFrank Santo
Channing1964TV SeriesPaul Atherton
The Twilight Zone1963TV SeriesErich Streator
77 Sunset Strip1963TV SeriesBrother Hendricksen
Johnny Cool1963Vincenzo 'Vince' Santangelo
Grindl1963TV SeriesMr. Hartman
Love Is a Ball1963Dr. Christian Gump (Millie's uncle)
The Man from the Diners' Club1963Foots Pulardos
Empire1963TV SeriesTibor
The Dakotas1963TV SeriesJake Volet
The Eleventh Hour1963TV SeriesBen Cohen
The Untouchables1961-1963TV SeriesLeo Stazak / Matt Bass / Wally Baltzer
Alcoa Premiere1962TV SeriesMario Lombardi
The Interns1962Dr. Dominic Riccio
Birdman of Alcatraz1962Feto Gomez
Cape Fear1962Private Detective Charles Sievers
Cain's Hundred1961-1962TV SeriesHarry Rennick / Frank Meehan
The Sin of Jesus1961ShortFelix (as Telli Savales)
Ben Casey1961TV SeriesGeorge Dempsey
The Detectives1961TV SeriesBen Willis
The Dick Powell Theatre1961TV SeriesSergeant Marius
King of Diamonds1961TV SeriesMassis / Jerry Larch
The New Breed1961TV SeriesDr. Buel Reed
The Young Savages1961Detective Lt. Gunderson
Mad Dog Coll1961Lt. Darro
Acapulco1961TV SeriesMr. Carver
The Aquanauts1961TV SeriesPaul Price
The United States Steel Hour1960TV Series
The Witness1960TV SeriesAl Capone Lucky Luciano
Naked City1960TV SeriesGabe Hody
Armstrong Circle Theatre1959-1960TV SeriesDieter Wislieny / Dieter Wisliceny / Father Dominique Georges Henn Pire / ...
Dow Hour of Great Mysteries1960TV Series
Diagnosis: Unknown1960TV SeriesIrish Tony Salivarro
Sunday Showcase1959TV SeriesCotton


W imie...2013performer: "Some Broken Hearts Never Mend"
The Break-Up2006performer: "Who Loves Ya Baby"
Ein Schloß am Wörthersee1993TV Series performer - 1 episode
The 59th Annual Academy Awards1987TV Special performer: "Fugue for Tinhors"
Alice in Wonderland1985TV Movie performer: "There's No Way Home"
Telly... Who Loves Ya Baby?1976TV Special performer: "Who Loves Ya, Baby?", "The Men in My Little Girl's Life"
Top of the Pops1975TV Series performer - 1 episode
Disco1975TV Series performer - 1 episode
Kojak1975TV Series performer - 1 episode
The 46th Annual Academy Awards1974TV Special performer: " You're So Nice to Be Around"
Pancho Villa1972performer: "We All End Up the Same"


Kojak1974-1978TV Series 5 episodes
Beyond Reason1977
Report to New York1959TV Series


Beyond Reason1977screenplay


Backfire!1995in memory of


Later with Bob Costas1989TV SeriesHimself
The Wil Shriner Show1987TV SeriesHimself
The 59th Annual Academy Awards1987TV SpecialHimself - Performer
Hour Magazine1987TV SeriesHimself
The 38th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1986TV SpecialHimself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1964-1985TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Guest / Himself - Guest Host
The 37th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1985TV SpecialHimself - Presenter: Outstanding Drama Series
Late Night with David Letterman1985TV SeriesHimself
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Gene Kelly1985TV Special documentaryHimself (uncredit)
Aspel & Company1985TV SeriesHimself
Einer wird gewinnen1984TV SeriesHimself
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Lillian Gish1984TV Special documentaryHimself (uncredited)
The 41st Annual Golden Globe Awards1984TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
James Bond: The First 21 Years1983TV Movie documentaryHimself / Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Dom DeLuise and Friends1983TV SeriesHimself
Telly Savalas Looks at Aberdeen1981Documentary shortHimself - Narrator
Telly Savalas Looks at Portsmouth1981Documentary shortHimself - Narrator
International Pro-Celebrity Golf: Six of the Best1981TV SeriesHimself
Musikladen1980-1981TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Duet with Pam Rose
The John Davidson Show1981TV SeriesHimself
Telly Savalas Looks at Birmingham1981Documentary shortHimself - Narrator (voice)
The 52nd Annual Academy Awards1980TV SpecialHimself - Co-Presenter: Best Short Film, Animated & Live Action
The 51st Annual Academy Awards1979TV Special documentaryHimself - Co-Presenter: Best Actor in a Supporting Role
A Salute to American Imagination1978TV Movie documentaryHimself / Co-Host
V.I.P.-Schaukel1975-1978TV Series documentaryHimself / Singer
CBS: On the Air1978TV Mini-Series documentaryCo-host - part I
The Mike Douglas Show1975-1978TV SeriesHimself - Actor
The Bob Hope Comedy Special from Palm Springs1978TV MovieHimself
The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Frank Sinatra1978TV SpecialHimself
Circus of the Stars #21977TV SpecialHimself - Ringmaster
Battle of the Network Stars III1977TV SpecialHimself - Host
The 29th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1977TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
CBS Galaxy1977TV SpecialHimself - Guest
Les rendez-vous du dimanche1977TV SeriesHimself
Paul Anka ... Music My Way1977TV SpecialHimself - Cameo
Battle of the Network Stars II1977TV SpecialHimself - ABC Team
The 3rd Annual People's Choice Awards1977TV SpecialHimself - Winner: Favourite Male Television Performer
Battle of the Network Stars1976TV SpecialHimself - CBS Team Captain
The 28th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1976TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
The 48th Annual Academy Awards1976TV SpecialHimself - Presenter: Best Costume Design
Dinah!1974-1976TV SeriesHimself
Joys1976TV SpecialHimself
Telly... Who Loves Ya Baby?1976TV SpecialHimself
Friars Club Tribute to Gene Kelly1976TV MovieHimself - Performer
Top of the Pops1975TV SeriesHimself
The Royal Variety Performance1975TV MovieHimself
The Norman Gunston Show1975TV SeriesHimself
Disco1975TV SeriesHimself
Tony Orlando and Dawn1975TV SeriesHimself
The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Telly Savalas1974TV SpecialHimself
The Carol Burnett Show1974TV SeriesHimself
The 46th Annual Academy Awards1974TV SpecialHimself - Performer
The 16th Annual Grammy Awards1974TV SpecialHimself
The Dean Martin Show1974TV SeriesHimself
The Merv Griffin Show1974TV SeriesHimself
Dinah Shore: In Search of the Ideal Man1973TV SpecialHimself
The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour1973TV SeriesHimself / Various Characters
NFL Players Association Awards Dinner1973TV SpecialHimself - Guest
Jack Paar Tonite1973TV SeriesHimself
Cinema1971TV Series documentaryHimself
The Virginia Graham Show1971TV SeriesHimself
Celebrity Bowling1971TV Series 1973
The David Frost Show1970TV SeriesHimself
Above It All1969Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)
Swiss Movement1969Documentary shortHimself
Operation Dirty Dozen1967Short documentaryHimself
Dateline: Hollywood1967TV SeriesHimself
The Pat Boone Show1967TV SeriesHimself
The Linkletter Show1963TV SeriesHimself
The 35th Annual Academy Awards1963TV SpecialHimself - Nominee: Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Here's Hollywood1961TV SeriesHimself
Biography2000TV Series documentaryHimself
Golden Globes 50th Anniversary Celebration1994TV MovieHimself
The Extraordinary1994TV SeriesHimself
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Elizabeth Taylor1993TV Special documentaryHimself (uncredited)
One on One with John Tesh1991TV SeriesHimself
Telly Savalas: The ABCs of Winning Blackjack1990Video documentaryHost
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade1989TV MovieHimself
The Arsenio Hall Show1989TV SeriesHimself

Archive Footage

Premium Bond with Mark Gatiss and Matthew Sweet2015TV Movie documentaryBlofield
The Shadow of 'Spectre'2015Video documentary shortBlofelds
Dante's Domicile2015TV SeriesCaptain Kazan
America's Clown: An Intimate Biography of Red Skelton2014VideoTex
Alfonso Sansone produttore per caso2014
Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the '70s2012DocumentaryHimself
Paul Williams Still Alive2011DocumentaryHimself
Sønner av Norge2011Theo Kojak (uncredited)
Edición Especial Coleccionista2010TV SeriesFrank Cooper
Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon2008DocumentaryHimself
La imagen de tu vida2006TV SeriesLt. Theo Kojak
Total Cops2003TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Greatest2001-2003TV Series documentaryHimself / Kojak
I Love Christmas2001TV Special documentary
Hollywood Remembers Lee Marvin2000TV Movie documentaryArcher Maggott
I Love 1970's2000TV Series documentaryHimself / Kojak
Inside 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'2000Video documentary shortHimself
The James Bond Story1999TV Movie documentaryErnst Stavro Blofeld (uncredited)
Go1999Himself (in gambling video) (uncredited)
The Secrets of 007: The James Bond Files1997TV Movie documentaryBlofeld
The 66th Annual Academy Awards1994TV SpecialHimself - Memorial Tribute
Give Me Your Answer True1987Documentary
Bonds Are Forever1983Video documentaryErnst Stavro Blofeld / Himself
Margret Dünser, auf der Suche nach den Besonderen1981TV Movie documentaryHimself
Disco1978-1980TV SeriesHimself / Comedy Guest
Top of the Pops1975TV SeriesIf
Lionpower from MGM1967ShortEmil Dietrich (uncredited)
Cosa Nostra, Arch Enemy of the FBI1967TV MovieEd Clementi
Mondo Hollywood1967DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
The Karate Killers1967Count Valeriano De Fanzini


Won Awards

1983Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 26 October 1983. At 6801 Hollywood Blvd.
1976Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor in a Television Series - DramaKojak (1973)
1976People's Choice AwardPeople's Choice Awards, USAFavorite Male TV Performer
1976TP de OroTP de Oro, SpainBest Foreign Actor (Mejor Actor Extranjero)Kojak (1973)
1975Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest TV Actor - DramaKojak (1973)
1975BambiBambi AwardsTV Series InternationalKojak (1973)
1975People's Choice AwardPeople's Choice Awards, USAFavorite Male TV PerformerTied with Alan Alda
1974Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsBest Lead Actor in a Drama SeriesKojak (1973)

Nominated Awards

2005TV Land AwardTV Land AwardsFavorite Private EyeKojak (1973)
1978Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor in a Television Series - DramaKojak (1973)
1977Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor in a Television Series - DramaKojak (1973)
1975Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Drama SeriesKojak (1973)
1975Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Directing in a Drama SeriesKojak (1973)
1973Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading RoleKojak (1973)
1966Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Supporting ActorBattle of the Bulge (1965)
1963OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Supporting RoleBirdman of Alcatraz (1962)
1963Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Supporting ActorBirdman of Alcatraz (1962)
1963Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsTop New Male Personality10th place.

3rd Place Awards

1968Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsMale Supporting PerformanceThe Scalphunters (1968)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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