Playing Kojak was the highlight of Savalas' lengthy career, [Mike Mamakos] said. The actor became indelibly identified as Lt. Theo Kojak, and he remained grateful for the recognition.
He reveled in the public's identification with Kojak, Mamakos said. "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,"' Savalas once said.
PHOTO: COLOR, (Orange County Edition, A1) [Telly Savalas] in 1989 photo: found fame as "Kojak." / Associated Press; PHOTO: Telly Savalas as Kojak in 1973