Posted on January 17, 2015
Who loves ya, baby? He is best remembered as the lollipop sucking detective Kojak but his movie and tv career spanned many successful decades. Here’s our Telly Savalas timeline.
Born as Aristoteles Savalas in Garden City, Long Island, NY to Christina and Nicholas Savalas.
He and his older brother Gus begin selling newspapers to help the family out. They also make a shoeshine stand out of orange crates and set shop at Pennsylvania Station on 33rd Street.
He enjoys the thrill of danger, showing no fear as he balances himself on a train track that lies right next to a high voltage line.
He works as a lifeguard at Jones Beach. In one incident, he pulls a drowning man from the water but is unable to revive him. The man’s children watch crying as their father dies. Because of this, Savalas vows that he will teach all his children to swim.
He attends Sewaneka High School in Floral Park, NY.
He joins the U.S. army.
After serious injuries from a car accident (broken pelvis, sprained ankle and concussion), the army releases him. He receives a Purple Heart for his time served in World War II. He spends a year in the hospital.
He is released from the hospital and attends the Armed Forces Institute where he studies acting and radio and television production.
He attends Columbia University where he studies psychology, radio, and English.
His father dies of bladder cancer.
He marries Katherine Nicolaides.
Katherine gives birth to Christina Savalas.
He hosts the radio show Telly’s Coffeehouse.
He Katherine Nicolaide divorce.
He marries Marilyn Gardner.
Marilyn gives birth to Candace.
Stars in The Young Savages with Burt Lancaster.
Stars in Cape Fear.
Stars in Birdman of Alcatraz with Burt Lancaster.
Stars in The Interns.
He is nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for Birdman of Alcatraz.
Marilyn gives birth to Penelope.
Stars in The Man from the Diner’s Club.
Stars in Johnny Cool with Elizabeth Montgomery.
Stars in The New Interns with Barbara Eden.
Stars in The Greatest Story Ever Told with Charlton Heston.
Stars in The Slender Thread.
Stars in John Goldfarb, Please Come Home.
Stars in Genghis Khan.
Stars in Battle of the Bulge.
Stars in Beau Geste.
Stars in The Dirty Dozen with Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin.
Stars in The Scalphunters with Burt Lancaster.
Stars in The Assassination Bureau with Diana Rigg.
Stars in Mackenna’s Gold.
Stars in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service with Diana Rigg.
Stars in Kelly’s Heroes with Clint Eastwood, Don Rickles, and Donald Sutherland.
Stars in Pancho Villa.
His girlfriend Sally Adams gives birth to his first son Nick.
He plays Inspector Theo Kojak on the TV series Kojak. He sucks on the lollipop in hopes of influencing young viewers not to smoke. His famous line, “Who loves ya, baby?” originates from an episode of Kojak entitled “Die Before They Wake.”
Stars in Horror Express with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.
Marilyn Gardner files for divorce.
He meets Julie Hovland on the set of Kojak.
Stars in Escape to Athena.
Stars in Beyond the Poseidon Adventure with Michael Caine.
Stars in The Muppet Movie with Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise, Bob Hope, Steve Martin, and Richard Pryor.
He marries Julie Hovland who will give him two more children: Christian and Ariana.
Stars in Cannonball Run II with Jackie Chan, Dom DeLuise, Don Knotts, Burt Reynolds, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin.
Appears in Alice in Wonderland.
He celebrates his 70th birthday.
He dies from prostate cancer. He is laid to rest at the George Washington section of Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles.