Greek-American actor George Savalas is best remembered for co-starring with his brother, Telly Savalas, on the popular television detective show "Kojak" between 1973 and 1978. George played Detective Stavros to Telly's Kojak and was billed as Demosthenes in the end credits to avoid confusion with the elder Savalas. He served in the Pacific during WWII and was a decorated U.S. Navy gunner. George learned his craft in Columbia University drama school, and before making it to the small screen, was himself an accomplished stage actor, then acting instructor. He also was the drummer for the Clyde McCoy Big Band, briefly. Savalas got his start on the Dick Powell Theater, and went on to guest star on other series. He has appeared in several films including Ghengis Khan (1965) and Kelly's Heroes (1970). After Kojak, he recorded a Top-10 Greek language record, and toured with his band at many major venues including Carnegie Hall. Savalas later returned to his first love, the stage, and appeared in many off-Broadway plays. He died from Leukemia in 1985. He was much-loved and is greatly missed by all who knew him.
George was the son of Nicholas and Christina Savalas, and was the middle of five children; he had older brothers Gus and Telly, a younger brother named Theodore, and a younger sister named Katherine.