And that's not the only way he lives on — Telly Savalas Live! Savalas was of Greek heritage — his full first name was Aristotle while alter-ego Kojak's first name was Theo — and donated to many Hellenic charities. Even without conventional Hollywood looks — and a bald head before it was fashionable — both Savalas and Kojak projected a smooth, lady-killer vibe.
The Chicago-based nonprofit Aristotle Foundation still carries on giving in his family's name. All rights reserved. He earned a best-supporting Oscar nod for his role in Birdman of Alcatraz.
Says Pompilio, "Obituaries are mini life stories, allowing a glimpse into someone's world that we're often denied. In real life, Savalas had four significant relationships and six children.
On the big screen Savalas, who died Jan. People magazine described him this way in 1989: The charismatic cop beat down bad guys in suit jackets while sucking on lollipops.
He charmed women with a gruff manner that could melt with compassion; as he once put it, he was 'Romeo inside a gorilla exterior. In Kojak, Savalas created a tough guy with a big heart.
It isn't what he is, so much as the way he talks, that gets you tuning in. Still, Kojak — the lead character in the series of the same name that ran from 1973 to 1978 — was the role that made Savalas a household name, then and now. Before he became a pop-culture legend as the lollipop-sucking, baby-loving New York detective known simply as "Kojak," actor Telly Savalas enjoyed a successful film career.
Although Kojak's relationships with women were one puzzle he never solved "I can't ever remember getting the girl," says Savalas. His distinctive deep voice, which had a career of its own as a narrator and spoken-word artist, could growl as well as purr.
Her lifelong love of obituaries raised eyebrows when she was younger, but she's now able to explain that this interest goes beyond morbid curiosity. Savalas once said that women found him more attractive after he shaved his head in 1965.
I just wish we could share them with each other when we're alive.