Telly Savalas Poster

Quotes (32)

  • We're all born bald, baby.
  • Who loves ya, baby?
  • [on Clint Eastwood] Off screen Clint is articulate and intelligent, not quiet or laconic like the cowboys and GIs he plays in films.
  • [When he was battling prostate cancer]: The challenge is to live long enough to raise my children.
  • [on being offered the role of Kojak (1973)]: I'll do The Marcus-Nelson Murders (1973), but I don't want to do a series. How can I do the one role? I mean, I have to verify my life. My life is a variety, I can't be stuck with one character. It won't sell.
  • Even with the crazies I've played I've tried to give some dimension to their insanity.
  • I was born with a romantic nature and I'll carry it to my grave.
  • I don't play that far away from myself because then I think people would say I was acting.
  • [In 1974]: Kojak is the kind of guy who couldn't arrest a hooker, he'd send her home. He operates on instinct and decency, but if you give him any lip he'll throw you out a window.
  • [on taking the risk of starring in Kojak (1973)]: If they had told me about the series, I never would have done the movie, I got aboard this thing by accident. I wasn't emotionally ready for a series. I like to move around, but now at least 98 per cent of my personality is in abeyance. There is the applause; I love it!
  • [Of his mother, Christina Savalas]: Mama says to me, 'Being an actor is fine, but what are you going to do for a living?' I took my mother to the premiere of The Dirty Dozen and she said, 'It's disgraceful!' I asked her how she liked my role and she said, 'You were ridiculous!'
  • [In 1987]: I made 60 movies before 'Kojak' with some of the biggest names in the business, and people would still say, 'There goes what's-his-name.'
  • [In 1973]: The second show I did on TV, I was the lead. I made $900 and I was having fun saying some other guy's words. This is a dangerous profession for the ego.
  • I came from a tough neighborhood. I used to be a 'Dirty Greek,' But my father used to say to me, 'When you grow up and realize what your heritage means, then they'll need a permit to speak to you.' He was right. I'm a proud Greek. I carry my Hellenism like a badge of merit.
  • [Of his late father, Nick Savalas]: One day he was a millionaire. The next day, with the Depression, not a penny in his pocket. He packs his five kids in the back of a van and goes to New York and begins selling cakes. That's what I call a Greek.
  • [In 1989]: Now, I let someone else do all the running.
  • I'm a romantic realist. I knew I would become a star, just as I know some day the bubble will burst.
  • [When he became a popular nightclub singer]: I had the No. 1 record in England, knocking Mick Jagger off the top of the pops. I to close the generation gap.
  • Proof that diamonds are a girl's best friend, would be displayed only in the most select museums in the world.
  • [on his popularity while playing the fifty-something Lt. Theo Kojak on Kojak]: There's no question that experience is more important and rewarding to someone who is an actor. My approach to Kojak in any situation would be my own approach. How I would react and respond? That's basically true whether I'm portraying a cop or a candlestick maker.
  • [Who had been offered a series wasn't getting used to all the police shows on TV that have been aired at the time]: Television doesn't need another cop show, that's for sure. But this is an interesting cop, a real cop from a New York City neighborhood. A basically honest character, tough but with feelings: the kind of guy who might kick a hooker in the tail if he had to, but they'd understand each other because maybe they grew up on the same kind of block.
  • [After he graduated from college who then became disenchanted]: This bastard! This gangster Freud! It's all crap-just a language for unemployed actors to amuse themselves with!
  • [When reflected the times he had with his father]: Our happiest times were at the bottom of the ladder. One day he dragged us out of private schools, and the next day we started peddling cakes out of the back of a truck.
  • [When he was visiting in New York City]: I'm hoping that you're not caught in the layoffs.
  • [In 1975]: Kojak is no supercop. I'm just a neighborhood kid.
  • [In 1977]: It will be a sad day when I begin thinking of all this as work. I enjoy every minute of it.
  • On 'Kojak,' I improvise a lot of the dialogue. And I've directed five episodes of the series so I've had some experience at it...The talent was given me at an early age. What the hell, I've been directing things since I was a year old.
  • [on being a spelling winner]: I'm thrilled that's what I called 'the greatest frustration of my life,' will finally be righted.
  • [In 1981]: It was in 1959 I got my first role. I was to play the Greek judge who decides to give a Greek boy to a visiting American journalist. It was a small role and paid only $200, but I haven't stopped since.
  • [Who didn't need to worry so much about the Titanic show, when he agreed to host it]: I didn't need any assurance that there would be anything in the safe. The fact that these guys went down 2 1/2 miles and came up with anything was an achievement in itself. I've been making believe as a detective for so long, that it was very exciting to be involved in something very, very real.
  • [In 1976]: I'm just a kid from New York who looks like everybody else.
  • [When he was relaxing, shooting exteriors along with some interior scenes for next season's Kojak (1973)]: Everybody's always telling me they have an Uncle Harry who looks just like me. That's 90% of my appeal.