“We’re all born bald,” he once said. Aristotelis Savalas was born on January 21, 1922 in Garden City, New York, just a few miles east of New York City on the way to Long Island.
With a career spanning more than forty years, he was one of the nation’s biggest celebrities at his peak in the 1970s while starring in the hit cop show Kojak. Telly was the second of five children of Greek American parents, Christina (Kapsalis) and Nick Savalas.
Savalas has numerous film credits, as well as a string of records and appearances on numerous television shows. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Birdman of Alcatraz in 1962 and won an Emmy in 1974.
Watch a vintage Greek interview when Savalas visited Greece in 1971:
Savalas died on January 22, 1994, the day after his 72nd birthday, from complications from prostate and bladder cancer.