National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day – January 22 – Telly Savalas

0 Comments 22 January 2013

Who Loves Ya Baby!


We’ve got one from the ‘the vault’ for today’s DPD. Kojak aka Telly Savalas.

Telly was Christopher Walken before Christopher Walken. He was more than a triple threat – he was a quadruple threat. He could sing, dance, act and he was one smart cookie. And don’t even get me started on that haircut!

Yes, we all know Telly from his signature role on ABC’s Kojak that aired during the 1970’s. In this role Savalas, as a street tough detective with a heart of gold, kept the streets of New York clean from bad guys and jerks. And boy did he do it with flare! He could hob nob with the mayor of New York one minute then – cunningly – work his connections in NY’s criminal underworld to crack a case. All this while casually sucking on a lollipop. Telly was so compelling in this role he eventually won an Emmy as best actor in a dramatic series.

Mr. Savalas’ acting career spanned three decades, making him at one time one of Hollywood’s busiest character actors. He played an assortment of heavies, from Al Capone to Pontius Pilate and, finally Bugs Bunny’s disgruntled shut-in uncle.

His storied career began serving in the military during WWII which eventually landed him a job in the United States Information Service (part of the State Department), and rose to the rank of assistant director for the Near East, South Asia and Africa

In 1955, he left Government service to take a job with the American Broadcasting Company’s news and special events department. He eventually became a senior director. Then, the next year, he met Burt Lancaster and, like so many others, the chance meeting changed the trajectory of his life. But I’ll let the obit take it from here.

Get your obits here….the line forms to the LEFT!

Telly Savalas, Actor, Dies at 70; Played Kojak in 70’s TV Series


Published: January 24, 1994
Telly Savalas, who added the phrase “Who loves ya, baby?” to popular language while portraying a New York detective in the 1970’s television series “Kojak,” died on Saturday of prostate cancer. He was 70. Continue

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