Website last updated: 27-9-2021

Steven Jay Rubin remember Telly Savalas on his birthday

By: Steven Jay Rubin
Published:
2021-01-21
Telly Savalas Ernst Stavro Blofeld
The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia presents This Day in James Bond Movie History - remembering the remarkable Telly Savalas on the anniversary of his birth in 1922. Savalas (1922-1994) portrayed Ernst Stavro Blofeld in one of the best of all the Bonds – 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service starring George Lazenby as Ian Fleming's 007.

A New Yorker by birth, Telly Savalas was at first glance an odd choice to play the very European mastermind, but the actor so associated with the Kojak (1973-1978) TV series and a number of American action films, brought something that the other Blofelds have failed to bring to the series – heft. Savalas was no wimp – he was a physically-imposing actor and he seemed to effortlessly transform into a suave manipulator who, thanks to his germ warfare plot, seems to have the world at his feet. Given Lazenby’s inexperience as an actor, director Peter Hunt had to surround James Bond with strong performers – with Savalas, Diana Rigg’s “Tracy” and Gabriele Ferzetti's “Draco,” it worked.

James Bond (George Lazenby) vs. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Telly Savalas) on a bob run:



I would also like to wish Happy Birthday to producer Michael G. Wilson, who shepherds the Bond series with his stepsister Barbara Broccoli. I met Michael in London in the summer of 1977 – having received an introduction from producer Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli himself. Michael couldn’t have been nicer. He opened the Eon files to me and I was able to begin my research into my first book on Bond – “The James Bond Films: A Behind the Scenes History,” which was published in 1981.

Visit The Official Website of Telly Savalas for more information.

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