Son of Greek immigrants. Soldier during World War II. Studied psychology. Worked as journalist for ABC News. The bald-headed actor played character roles, often as sadistic or psychotic types. He became a TV favorite in the 1970s when his role as Det. Theo Kojak in the TV movie "The Marcus-Nelson Murders" was expanded into the gritty "Kojak" TV series, lasting from 1973-78.