'Kojak': A Look At The Career Of Telly Savalas

Actor Telly Savalas in 1973

6. September 2019 - 09:49 Uhr / Laura Pérez

Telly Savalas is best known for his role in Kojak and also for his very distinctive voice which also gave him the opportunity to be a radio host. The actor died in 1994 and that's why now we decided to honour him by taking a look back at his career.

Telly Savalas was born in 1922 and has been considered one of the greatest actors of all time, and apart from his acting career he built an impressive music career due to his resonant deep voice. He is best known for his role as "Lt. Theo Kojak" in the police drama series Kojak from 1973 to 1978, but during the 1970's he also came to prominence after releasing the British one-hit wonder song If. 

Savalas also served three years in the United states Army during the second world War, and after it he was host of a radio program called Your Voice of Americawhich was part of the U.S. State Department, afterwards he worked at ABC News. Did you know that at some point of his life he didn't consider acting as a career? But one day he was asked if he knew an actor who could do an European accent, recommended a friend but he couldn't go, so he had to cover for his friend and ended up being cast on Armstrong Circle Theatre.

Telly Savalas best known for his role as TV's Kojak

Telly Savalas - an impressive acting career

Overall Telly Savalas has appeared in more than 40 films and more than 50 television shows. His biggest works during the 1970's are in films like Birdman in Alcatrazwhich earned him an Academy Award and a Golden Globe nomination, as well as in movies like The Greatest Story Ever ToldBattle of the Bulge, The Dirty Dozen, and Kelly's Heroes. During the 1980's he was a cast member of the films Escape to Athena, Border Cop, and Facelessamong others.

During the 1990's he appeared in three episodes of the TV series The Commishwhich was his final television role, before dying in 1994, just one day before his 72nd birthday, due to complications of cancer. He would appear in two feature films before his death, Mind Twister and Backfire! 

Actor Telly Savalas best known for his role in 'Kojak'