How tall was Telly Savalas

Telly Savalas Height

5ft 10 ¾ (179.7 cm)

American actor best remembered for his starring role in TV series Kojak. In film he has appeared in Cape Fear (1962), Birdman of Alcatraz, Battle of the Bulge, The Dirty Dozen, Mackenna's Gold, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Kelly's Heroes, Horror Express and Lisa and the Devil. A 1977 article once describe him as standing Six Feet One and weighing over 200 pounds.

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Add a Comment101 comments

Average Guess (14 Votes)
5ft 10.16in (178.2cm)
ZJ said on 30/Jun/21
Telly Savalas visited TRAMP in London, leaned over and took my hand and wispered 'houchi couchi coo baby' Maybe 1974? Smouth and great presence, so larger than life ZJ
Miss Sandy Cowell said on 5/May/21
Telly is a timeless star, and I loved that the dog in 'The Stand' was named after him - Kojak! He was a faithful, beautiful golden Labrador. 🐶

Telly gets 5ft10.75.

I even remember his hit song 'If'. I'm showing my age now - it was from the mid 70s and made number one. 😉
Daveey said on 27/Mar/21
Andy the owner of Kojaks Greek Taverna in Theydon Bois said he was "a bit less than maybe 6 ft"
Rising174cm said on 29/Dec/20
@Rob: Yeah, he doesn't look taller than this listing with the 6' Walken and he was almost certainly wearing some thicker heel at that event in the 70s. I did see some late 80s Dirty Dozen film with Telly and Borgnine years ago and I remember Telly being taller, but I don't remember exactly how much and Borgnine was about 5 years older.
Rising174cm said on 28/Dec/20
Look at the heels he wore in 1976: Click Here And that's while he was in public, but he always wore thick heels on Kojak as well. Maybe he really was a 5'10" guy trying to pass for 6'1" like Dean Martin. I mean, how much taller was he than a guy like Ernest Borgnine, if at all?
Editor Rob
I think Savalas could look taller than Ernest...but it's true on Kojak, he wasn't in normal thin shoes, a decent heel in that era.

Somebody posted a clip a few years ago of Telly and Walken, here is another Still of Christopher and Telly.
Jug said on 24/Sep/19
He may have been near 5'11 at peak. It should be noted that he wears elevator shoes in a lot of his films, particularly the later ones. He must have had a clause in his contract for them. On Kojak he wears high-heeled semi-boots, and he actually wears platform open-back clogs in the Kojak made for TV movies from the 90s.
c-mo said on 15/Sep/19
he looked 177-178cm to me . I somehow cant see 180

good looking man somehow lol . and charismatic . he makes me feel even better that I have a shaved head :-D
Sandy Cowell said on 22/Nov/18
There was a question just now on 'The Chase' about who had a hit in 1975* with 'If...'.

It was Telly who spoke his way to the Number One spot back then and I remember IT! 🤧😭

I never bought it though....💿❌

That was the time that 'Kojak' was being shown and until I actually watched it, I thought Mr Savalas was way over 6ft! To this day, I put it down to his deep voice in that hit record, but I was only a kid! When I got round to seeing his acting for myself, I was more than a little surprised that I'd overestimated his height to the degree that I had, but I think a bit of classroom tittle-tattle was also partially responsible!

The legendary Mr Savalas gets 5ft10.5 from me.
Sean73 said on 18/Mar/18
Solid 70.25" in my opinion. Looks it next to his co-stars on Kojak. Which I'm binge watching on the Cozi channel.
RisingForce said on 5/Jul/17
If Telly isn't at much of a camera disadvantage then he only looks 5'10" with Burt Lancaster in this still: Click Here Unfortunately, you can't tell from the angle used in the actual film. This is probably the best scene for comparing the two in the actual film: Click Here I'm not sure how much you can tell from that other than Telly clearly wasn't 6 feet tall, let alone 6'1".
RisingForce said on 30/May/17
It certainly can't be ruled out, Rob. Especially seeing him with Gazzara and Telly was certainly an absolute minimum 2 inches and very possibly 3 inches shorter than Burt Lancaster in The Young Savages, though I don't know about Birdman of Alcatraz. These older stars are much harder to pin down. A good shot of the boots he wore for the entire original run of Kojak and some other 70s appearances is at 34:30 in this video: Click Here
RisingForce said on 28/May/17
Hmmm, definitely no taller than Dean Martin at the start of this clip, perhaps shorter: Click Here Certainly lends credence to Telly being a 5'10" guy who wore lifts since that's what Martin was.
And with 6'0" Andre Braugher at 2 minute mark here: Click Here Certainly not looking anywhere near a six-footer by that point, but he was 67 with pretty bad posture. I saw the episode that clip is from not more than a year ago. He can seem closer at other times, but that is a full shot.
Editor Rob
it is quite possible Savalas wasn't much over 5ft 10, and enjoyed a thick heel at times.
RisingForce said on 2/May/17
The one thing that I think actually lends credence to the 5'10" flat Frank2 always insisted on is this scene with Ben Gazzara, who if anything looks taller than Telly! Click Here It's only a 5 minute clip, but you see this especially after about 50 seconds. Gazzara was "barely" 5'10", which means there's a good chance he was only 177 cm. Interestingly, Frank2 thought Gazzara was 5'10.5", which actually does add up in that clip, but I can't see anything over 5'10" given his own quote and Road House. Unless Gazzara had a significant footwear advantage, it's tough to deny the possibility of 5'10" flat with massive lifts. Telly also only looked about an inch taller than 5'8.5"-5'9" Charles Bronson in Violent City/The Family and looked about the same when Bronson was in shoes and Telly was barefoot. I've always thought Telly likely had lifts along with the 2" heels, but 2" heels on men's boots were very common then, so I think this later pic of less stylish, bulky footwear is better confirmation that Telly wore footwear that boosted his height: Click Here Outside of that clip with Gazzara, I'd have said he usually looks over 5'11"! For example, I remember him measuring up well to Clint Eastwood and Donald Sutherland in Kelly's Heroes. Going off memory, I'd say he looked at least 6 feet in that film. I also remember him measuring up well to Gregory Peck in Cape Fear. Did he wear lifts that early? It would be helpful to know how tall Kevin Dobson(Crocker on Kojak) is/was since he usually looked similar in height to Telly, perhaps slightly taller at times, but he wore heeled boots himself. He surprisingly looked 3" max taller than 5'6" Martin Sheen in a 2008 pic, though they weren't side by side and Dobson could look 2" shorter than Ted Shackelford(Rob has him at 6'1"). I did see a photo from a Knots Landing reunion where Dobson's shoes looked a bit suspicious. Dobson, but I'd think he was 5'11" range peak. Rob has listed Telly at 5'10.5", 5'10.75" and 5'11" and with 4 votes, the average guess is exactly Rob's listing. For now, all seem possible and even 5'10" flat. I agree that something about him reminds me of Vin Diesel as well as Ving Rhames. All are guys you expect to be at least 6 feet.
Arch Stanton said on 15/Oct/16
Well, he pulled off a strong 6' at times. Like Dean Martin he could look in that solid 6' range in lifts. I think somewhere in 5 ft 10 range. Reminds me a lot of Vin Diesel in both face type and height. I believe Frank2 that he might have been 5 ft 10, but maybe 5'10.5 is OK as he could look almost 6 ft 1 at times!
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 23/Sep/16
He probably hit 6ft in most shoes...
Jug said on 13/Jul/16
On Kojak, in one episode, he is described as a 'tall, bald Greek.' Well, two out of three ain't bad, as they say. He was probably 5'10. People are forgetting On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Savalas looked about three inches shorter than George Lazenby, who was about 6'2. It is well established that Savalas wore lifts, and some funky boots on Kojak. In one episode, guest starring Sly, Savalas towered over him. Since there has been a lot of mention of Ben Gazzara and Kurt Jurgens on this board, has anyone noticed how much alike those two actors looked?
Mike said on 4/Jul/16
Met Savalas in Las Vegas at Ceasars Palace in 1977 we were swimming laps next to each other and both got out of pool at same.time and walked to bar area together he was not much taller than me and I'm 5 ft 7 in. So 5 ft 8- 5 ft 9 inches tops
richie said on 1/Jul/16
Weak 5'11", he had close to 2 inches on Stallone back in the day who we all know so never any taller than 5'9", so Savalas was certainly close to 5'11"
Arch Stanton said on 26/May/16
Wore lifts a lot, in The Slender Thread pulled off a strong 6' range with Sidney Poitier.
Johny b said on 28/Apr/16
Well Araboa, for his time he was quite tall, also on average greeks are about an inch taller than americans based on studies
Mark said on 12/Apr/16
From watching Kojak: 1/In long-shots you'll see Telly's very-high, blocky "cuban"- style heels, more common on woman's styles. 2/He usually keeps his hat on when standing in close scenes next to other male actors. 3 /Camera angles & perspectives are set to his advantage. With all this, he still appears to be shorter than most of the male cast-members. Unless they are all 6'3", i'd be surprised if Telly's even 5'10".
Abaroa 184cm said on 23/Jan/16
178-180cm seems right. Average for an American but a little taller than the average Greek, especially for his generation. No way could he get away with that 6' 1" claim but a bald (fully shaved) head often "adds" a little height, according to at least one study. Probably not worth shaving your head if you're not already balding, though!
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 19/Sep/15
This guy shares a physical resemblance to Vin Diesel along with a compulsion to lie indiscriminately...
Arch Stanton said on 2/Sep/15
Sam says on 21/Aug/14
The Vin Diesel of his day, bald action star of medium height who convinces everyone he's a towering six foot plus by his appearance on screen.

Yes, they're quite alike facially too, in fact I could believe Diesel was Savalas's son to a black mother!
Shadow2 said on 20/Apr/15
I saw Telly regularly when I was staying at the Sheraton Universal where he lived in the early 1990's. For someone already in his 60's he seemed easily 5' 11" (but I can't remember his footwear). The hotel guests like me just accepted that they were living in his LA "house" and everyone got on fine. Telly was very friendly with the staff.
jwwjr said on 4/Mar/15
Have been checking his height for the old tv series the Rogues.episode he's about the same as David Niven.and in Danny Kaye movie Man from the Diners Club.he's about same as Danny.possibly in 1960's 5ft 11.
Sam said on 21/Nov/14
Could you update his credits "US Actor best remembered from his role on TV as Kojak as well as in films including Cape Fear (1962), Birdman of Alcatraz, Battle of the Bulge, The Dirty Dozen, Mackenna's Gold, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Kelly's Heroes, Horror Express and Lisa and the Devil".
jonan said on 10/Sep/14
1.79 is closer to 5'8 (1.73) than 5'10 (1.78)?
Where did you learn basic maths?
rosso said on 8/Sep/14
1.79 is closer to 5'8" than 5'10" - basic maths mate
Sam said on 21/Aug/14
The Vin Diesel of his day, bald action star of medium height who convinces everyone he's a towering six foot plus by his appearance on screen.
RisingForce said on 29/Apr/14
Rob, do you think 5'10" flat could even be a better guess considering he was no taller than Ben Gazzara?
RisingForce said on 24/Apr/14
Why? I've been watching a lot of Bronson movies lately, so I've been posting quite about how he compared to other actors. I recently watched "Violent City" and found it interesting that Bronson measured up so well to Telly because of the Dirty Dozen comparison 3 years earlier. Nothing wrong with that since I posted links to comparisons from both movies.
jtm said on 22/Apr/14
enough with this 5'9 nonsense for bronson.
RisingForce said on 22/Apr/14
What's weird is the comparison with Charles Bronson. Here's a link to "Violent City" which was released in 1970. Click Here Telly first walks by Bronson at about 59:19 and they look similar in height, though Bronson is wearing shoes and Telly was probably barefoot, but with both in shoes around 1:03:28, Bronson still looks at least as tall, possibly a bit taller! Their last scene together is around 1:23:00.

Yet in the Dirty Dozen, Telly seemed to be a couple of inches taller than Bronson as you can see when they line up according to height around 3:30 in this scene. Click Here But the low angle from the side may be deceptive, plus, Telly obviously wore lifts during Kojak, so who is to say he didn't during the Dirty Dozen. Hell, there definitely wasn't 5 inches between Telly and Gregory Peck in Cape Fear either. Not even close, so even before Kojak, he could look taller than 5'10", yet he's struggling with 5'10" in that video I posted with Ben Gazzara. I think Bronson was a 5'9" guy, but the variation with Telly is weird. The clip with Gazzara had me thinking maybe more 5'10" flat, but there are other times when I wonder if he was at least 5'11".
RisingForce said on 12/Apr/14
Big heels and lifts really did wonders for him giving the impression of a big guy, and he was consistently listed at 6'1" and 200 pounds, so that appears to be the impression Telly or the studio wanted to give, but I was surprised to see this clip where he's certainly no taller and looks to be maybe 1 cm shorter than Ben Gazzara who was "barely 5-10" by his own admission.

Click Here

I had thought he might have been in the 5'11"-6'0" range, but after seeing that I'm thinking 5'10" flat might be the best guess. Not sure about Telly's shoes there and we don't get a great look at Gazzara's footwear, though they seem like a shoe or boot with a pretty decent heel at least, but he edges out Telly.

Here's a laughable 1994 article in the Orlando Sentinel with the writer claiming how his wife 5'5" wife "towered" Telly and that Telly supposedly had to look up to her. Click Here

A much more reasonable estimate upon meeting Telly in person comes from this quote found in the 8/12/76 Lakeland Ledger

"The large head, the massive shoulders, the barrel chest, and the instant impression of hard-muscled strength and virility make him look for a moment bigger than he really is. At close range you see he's about six feet tall, perhaps a fraction-less,"
lasoprana said on 29/Nov/13
here is telly next to christopher walken. christopher walken is said to be 6foot, plus a little for his poofy hair, at this young age. it appears telly is about 5'10ish? Click Here
g3bill said on 7/Aug/13
I saw Telly in front of universal gates going up the stairs to the bank around mid 70's. I was only about 12 feet away and he could have been about 5-10 in bare feet as stated but in addition he was wearing dress shoes with layers on the soles and heels which made him look much taller, they were maybe 2 to 3 inch as I remember. He was dressed in a sharp looking dark suit.
Sam said on 8/Jul/13
Yeah, they did do an extraordinary job making Savalas look like a really tall guy. As an aside, Jurgens looked 6'3" or less next to Orson Welles.
Ian C. said on 29/Jun/13
Savalas is an interesting example of how a medium sized actor can be made to seem tall. In The Dirty Dozen, the Dozen are ordered to stand in a row from tallest to shortest, and Savalas is at the short end of the line. In Kelly's Heroes, Savalas plays a character called Big Joe, and has a scene where he walks with beside Clint Eastwood and Donald Sutherland, both in the six foot four range, and seems roughly as tall as they are. Plus, whenever he has a scene where he speaks to Eastwood's character, they are eye-to-eye.
Shaun said on 10/Oct/12
Click Here

Can't see footwear or deck and posture is poor but assuming its even he looks no less than 6 ft 3 to me with Bob Mitchum.
Shaun said on 10/Oct/12
What sort of films do you like watching Rob? Are you into the older movies like me? I'll try to find one of Curt's older films on the tube.
Shaun said on 3/Oct/12
Mmm. I think you could argue 6 ft 3 for Jurgen's peak height? He didn't seem to have more than an inch on Moore at the age of 62 though so could have shrunk to 6'2-6'2.5". He definitely looked at least 6 ft 3 next to Savalas though. 6 ft 3 more likely than 6 ft 4 don't you think Rob?
Editor Rob
I think i'd look at curt in the enemy below or the film with orson welles ferry to hong kong, he'd be at peak in those.
Shaun said on 1/Oct/12
Is the guy in the red jacket John Saxon Rob?
Editor Rob
I think it's him yeah
Shaun said on 30/Sep/12
Click Here

This is from 1958. Is that a young John Saxon in the red jacket? If he was 5'10.5" Jurgens doesn't look over 6'3". He was a big heavily built guy though, I think he looked near 6'3" but 6'4" yeah that's a stretch.
Shaun said on 30/Sep/12
Click Here

Yeah you're right, here's a close comparison with Roger Moore. Doesn't look taller than 189cm. Maybe 6'3" peak then.
Shaun said on 30/Sep/12
I think nearer 6 ft 3 is more likely for Jurgens, yea he didn't really look 6'4" in Spy Who Loved Me. But then again I didn't spot that Yaphet Kotto was that big either after having seen it several times.
Shaun said on 30/Sep/12
Pedia says "Brigitte Bardot nicknamed him [Jurgens] "the Norman Wardrobe" during their work for Et Dieu… créa la femme".
Shaun said on 30/Sep/12
Click Here

Here he is in 1977 with 6'1.5" Roger Moore, he would have been 62 at the time. Rob do you think a full 6 ft 4 looks accurate for him?
Editor Rob
if he'd lost 2 inches maybe, but movies from the 50's would tell if he was that tall.
Shaun said on 30/Sep/12
One things clear. 6 ft 1 is definitely a joke for Savalas in comparison to Curt Jurgens. Rob, any chance of a page for Curt Jurgens. He was one of German cinema's most famous actors.
Editor Rob
by time of spy who loved me he didn't look 6ft 4, but then he was in 60's and so might have been in younger films.
Shaun said on 30/Sep/12
RisingForce says on 26/Sep/12
As crazy as it sounds, I've read Telly Savalas referred to as tall as 6'4". For the most part, he was listed at 6'1", which is probably what he claimed, though I've never read a direct claim, but 6'4" is just crazy. But all of the 5'4"-5'8" stuff he's getting on his page is also crazy.

Hehe if Savalas was 6'4" Curt Jurgens was 6'9! Curt Jurgens, legendary German actor appeared in a lot of British films, you might remember him playing Strongbourg in The Spy who Loved Me with a big dining table inside the submarine? Jurgens had near 6 inches on Savalas, at times it could look nearer 4 inches due to his posture. Jurgens was supposed to have been 6 ft 4. I hadn't noticed his height until I read it and yeah he must have been around that, certainly at least 6 ft 3. Savalas who normally seems quite a dominant looking guy looked quite small next to him.
RisingForce said on 26/Sep/12
As crazy as it sounds, I've read Telly Savalas referred to as tall as 6'4". For the most part, he was listed at 6'1", which is probably what he claimed, though I've never read a direct claim, but 6'4" is just crazy. But all of the 5'4"-5'8" stuff he's getting on his page is also crazy.
Aidimu said on 23/Sep/12
I walked past Telly Savalas at the 1976 Olympics during a swimming event. We practically rubbed shoulders we were so close. I had no doubt it was him. However, I was shocked he looked so short as I never figured that from what I saw on TV or the movies. He appeared to me to be shorter than I was at the time which was about 5'5". At any rate there is no way he was 5'10".
fricanman said on 9/Dec/11
This I definitely don't buy! I was walking down Tottenham Court Rd. early eighties and passed Telly with a statuesque blonde heading towards what was then one of very few casinos in London. She was a good 5'11", taller than me or my girlfriend of the time, he was considerably smaller. Sure it was him, he was sporting a huge fur coat, the bald head (no hat) and I even recall the dodgy finger cos' he was smoking! No more than 5'8" at a push! And I am being generous there.
Shaun said on 5/Aug/11
Lazenby was a legit 6'2" peak. And Savalas wore lifts to look 6'1". That's a well known fact!!
lol said on 3/Aug/11
if Lazemby was 6ft 1...then Savalas was 6ft...

Click Here
Shaun said on 19/Mar/11
Savalas looks like a cross between Peter Andre, Simon Cowell, Vin Diesel and Frank Butcher from Eastenders (Mike Reid). If you really look at him facially there is quite some resemblance with Simon Cowell. Only just noticed it. If you did a photoshop of Simon Cowell's hair on Telly Savalas it might surprise you! His demeanour though is very much like Vin Diesel.
Viper said on 9/Mar/11
Looked 5-10 with 5-7 Stallone
TruebloodFan said on 7/Mar/11
dunno. they guy looked about 6ft to me in 'The Dirty Dozen'. I remember this guy well. scary guy...
Ian Fawn-Meade said on 16/Dec/10
Used Telly Savalas for a series of voice overs in New York. He was around 5'10" , and I dont think he would have worn lifts for those recording sessions
RisingForce said on 8/Jun/09
I think Telly was shorter than John Ritter when Ritter was on Kojack. I'm not 100% sure though. How long did you get to talk to Telly Brad?
Brad said on 8/Jun/09
I've never seen shoes outside of U.K. glam rock fans 1974 being worn like Telly's. This was not long before he died. Kept saying "and another thing about these mfers down the hill...". He really hated the suits at Universal. I always ask TV stars of they got beat out of money.
RisingForce said on 8/Jun/09
The shocking thing about the Christopher Lee photo is that it was taken on the golf course. Imagine Telly trying to golf in his 2.5" heels!
Doug said on 7/Jun/09
He was about 5'10.5". But he wore lifts and seemd to have a complex about his height as below so in shoes he reached 6'. Compared to Christopher Lee he is standing close to 6' in that photo in shoes. Lee is 4-5 inches taller. In 1974 Lee was close to 6'5", about 195cm peak.
RisingForce said on 5/Jun/09
I took some stills of those heels and they look over 2 inches!Click Here I wear cowboy boots with 2 inch heels and Telly's heels there are easily bigger. I'd guess 2 1/2 inch heels. Here's another good picture of his footwear. Click Here In this picture with Bob Hope his heels aren't exposed as much, but you can still see that they're massive. Click Here It seems that he didn't just wear them in films and Kojak, but also for public appearances.

That's really interesting about the crew making fun of him for that. Do you think you can elaborate a bit on that. Did they mention lifts or his 5'10" height? Was Telly bothered by the jokes. I guess 5'10" + 3 inches in footwear is how he appeared to be a legit 6 footer on Kojak and some films.

Here's an interesting picture of Telly and Sidney Poitier. Click Here Telly must have been wearing some massive lifts there.
Frank2 said on 4/Jun/09
Like I've said, Telly was 5'10". He wore Frankenstein boots in KOJACK. Two inch heels with at least another inch inside. In fact, the crew on the show used to poke fun at him for trying to look so tall.
RisingForce said on 7/May/09
looked about 6 ft in cape fear next to 6-3 gregory peck in cape fear, his shoes seem normal. maybe he always wore lifts?
RisingForce said on 17/Mar/09
Thanks, finding out Telly's height will help us figure out Charles Bronson's height who I'm still unsure of as well.

Kojak had a lot of guest stars. Here he was with Harvey Keitel from that same episode that the shot of the heels was from. Click Here

Interestingly enough on a sheet Keitel's character was listed at 5'9".
glenn said on 17/Mar/09
those heels are nuts.strange,cause i remember nothing of te show,but i remember the that he was a heel wearer.i thought he was short or rather 5-8 to 5-10 cause of it.
glenn said on 17/Mar/09
yes.that was became full a time hobby in by 1992.i know people who have seen telly.not sure if they can tell us his height.ill closest friend did actually.
RisingForce said on 16/Mar/09
That's interesting, I imagine that was before you became an autograph dealer. So I guess that puts Telly at 5'11"? Have any of your friends met Telly?

By the way look at these pictures of Telly's heels from an episode of Kojak. Atleast 2.5", maybe 3 inch heels.
Click Here
Click Here
Click Here

I guess Brad wasn't kidding when he said Telly had regular shoes with the biggest heels he's ever seen when he met him. No wonder I always thought Telly was a 6 footer.
glenn said on 15/Mar/09
i did meet lee 20 years ago.too nervous and starstruck to ask him for a photo immediately.then lost my chance.seemed 6-4.
glenn said on 15/Mar/09
i dont know about lee.6-4 min peak.could be more.
RisingForce said on 14/Mar/09
How tall was Christopher Lee in 1974?
Click Here

I could see Lee being 5 inches taller than Telly if he wasn't leaning. That picture was taken on the golf course so it's the best evidence there is as far as Telly's height. There's no chance Telly had his big heels on the golf course.

Whatever Christopher Lee was in 1974, take off 5 inches and I'd say you have Telly's height.
RisingForce said on 6/Feb/09
I honestly never thought Redford looked short. Telly and Redford were probably about the same height, Telly just probably forgot that he had his huge heels on. Telly always gave the impression of a 6 footer to me, but Rob has him listed about right. A strong 5'10" guy.

You're right Brad about Telly's heels. I don't ever remember seeing him in normal shoes.
Brad said on 5/Feb/09
The biggest heel guy Universal ever had. Redford has a broad build, he looks shorter than he is.
RisingForce said on 3/Feb/09
That's interesting that 5-10 Michael Parkinson would call him a big guy and that Telly was a lot taller. It's also interesting that Telly called 5-10.5 Robert Redford short. He looked 5-10 at best in the Bond film he did though and he didn't look very tall in The Dirty Dozen. Maybe he wore lifts later on? In fact I've heard he did.
Chrislondon said on 5/Jan/09
Maybe the best reference is when he was on the Michael Parkinson show in the 1970's. I remember Savalas came on and was a lot taller than Parkinson (5'10") who commented "what a big guy" Telly was. Also I remember a restaurant called "Kojaks Greek Taverna" in Theydon Bois Essex which had a "life size" signed cut out which was 6ft tall. RIP Telly.
RisingForce said on 4/Dec/08
Telly wears big heeled boots usually though. I've heard he wears lifts too.

Here are his boots from The Dirty Dozen
Click Here
Luke said on 2/Dec/08
I saw a film HORROR EXPRESS with him, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Chris Lee in his peak was 6' 4" or 5", I read Peter Cushing was about 5' 11", Savalas did look about heights, if not a shade shorter that Cushing (if memonery serves :S I could always watch it again)
RisingForce said on 6/Nov/08
I'm now convinced. He was 5'10". Just watched the Bond film that Telly was in. Unfortunately there wasn't a good full body shot of Lazenby and Telly although they made them look very close in height. Click Here

However what convinced me of 5'10" was how he looked barely taller than 5'8.5" Diana Rigg....and he was wearing boots! I think she was too but still she couldn't have had that much of a footwear advantage if any at all.
RisingForce said on 5/Nov/08
Rob, after some research it seems like it's actually widely known that he's 5'10" flat. I guess I was initally wrong. Maybe 5'10" flat would be more accurate? He passes for 6 foot probably because he always wears big heeled boots.

Listed 5'10" here Click Here

Listed 5'10" here as well Click Here

And listed 5'10" here Click Here

5'10" again Click Here

Once again 5'10" Click Here
RisingForce said on 5/Nov/08
That's interesting, I'm going to watch the Bond film he did with 6'2" George Lazenby. I always pictured Telly as a big 6 foot guy but it could be those big heeled boots he always wears. He was almost always in big heeled boots even off screen as Frank2 and Brad can confirm.

The Dirty Dozen also could be a good one for comparing. Too bad there wasn't a good shot of Telly and Sly when Sly appeared on Kojak. That'd be interesting considering both were wearing big heeled boots even back then.
RisingForce said on 4/Nov/08
Rob, I can't remember, was he listed 5'11" here or was he downgraded? If so what was the reason?

Editor Rob
yes, I dug out a couple of movies to see what he was like and think 179 might be better.

RisingForce said on 3/Nov/08
Maybe Bronson is taller than 5'8" though. Charles could have been 5'9" or 5'10" peak.
^OdDiTy^ said on 2/Nov/08
.... Just saw the Dirty Dozen and stopped the DVD at one point where Charles Bronson and Telly were standing side by side and upright.... it was a full shot and you could see they appeared to be wearing the same footware and he was no more than 1 inch above Bronson....Savalas DEFINITELY looks about 5'9" or perhaps 5" 9 1/2 throughout that movie but I wouldn't give him any more than that...
RisingForce said on 28/Oct/08
Could be but he does look tall for a 5'10" guy. Have you ever met him Glenn?
glenn said on 26/Oct/08
i thought this guy was 5-10 with the occasional lower claims too.
RisingForce said on 26/Oct/08
I've heard him described as tall as 6'1", he must have had some good shoes!
RisingForce said on 25/Oct/08
Telly wasn't that much shorter than 6'1" Anthony Quinn in a picture I saw. Maybe an inch so in his shoes he could easily reach over 6 foot.
clint said on 3/Nov/07
He didnt look 6ft to me. He was about 5ft 10 or a touch over. Savalas looked a bit sort in the dirty dozen but he could have got away with being 5ft 11.
kiefer said on 17/Jun/07
I think he looked more near 5ft 10 inches. He was the same height as 5ft 8 or 9 charles bronson in the dirty dozen but could be taller.
Pete said on 1/Apr/07
I saw him at Ceasars Palace with a beautiful blonde on his arm in 1977. He was about my height at the time....5 foot 8 inches.
Brad said on 9/Dec/06
Yeah, he was really nice til I brought up the "creative book keeping" at Universal that cost James Garner millions. He covered up his son's (I guess) ears and called them mother somethings and other dirty words even Tommy Lasorda never heard of. He was the man with the plan.
Frank2 said on 11/Aug/06
Telly lived there. And I don't mean that as a joke. He actually lived there. I'd see him in the bar as well. Telly drove a $100,000+ Rolls Royce Corniche convertable and raely if ever put the top up. The result was the leather cracked and the inside was filthy. He didn't care.

Telly loves ya baby!
Brad said on 11/Aug/06
I went into the Sheraton Universal to take a @#$%. Telly was at the bar eating peanuts and had regular shoes with the biggest heels I've ever seen.
Frank2 said on 19/Mar/06
I saw Telly many times when he did Kojak and he was 5'10" without his height-increasing shoes. He usually wore boots with two inch heels and with a possible lift inside. When he wore them he was taller than me by at leat an inch and a half. Without them and with normal shoes he was an inch shorter than me. Take a look at him in the film Birdman of Alcatraz where he's considerably shorter than 6'1" Burt Lancaster and that should give you a good reference as o his true height.
MHouillon said on 18/Mar/06
I'd say just a shade under 5'11.

5'10.5" for Mr. Savallas.
Drooperdoo said on 16/Sep/05
You guys are all scammed. My aunt was in an elevator with Mr. Savalas and said that she was astonished at the disparity between his real height and her assumptions about his stature. She, too, thought he'd be 5'10''-5'11''. She said that he was far closer to 5'6'' or 5'7''.
talker said on 1/Sep/05
i agree with the 5'11" "Kelly's heroes" he looks more than 4inches
shorter than 6'4"Sutherland and Eastwood.
Mr. R said on 19/Aug/05
When he did Kojak, he was listed as 5-10. I saw him in a 1950's film the other day with Burt Lancaster, and he seemed maybe a little taller than this.
Mr. Klaus said on 11/Jul/05
I agree with this height.
Lazenby was 10/11 cm taller than Savalas in OHMSS (1969)

Heights are barefeet estimates, derived from quotations, official websites, agency resumes, in person encounters with actors at conventions and pictures/films.

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