One of my favorite movie actors when I was growing up was a Greek American like me. His name was Telly Savalas and he was a household name in the United States. Telly grew up in New York City and he was extremely proud of his Greek heritage, which he highlighted in his portrayal of the hard nosed, street wise New York City police homicide detective name "Kojak" in the hit TV series with that name. Coincidently his funny, wisecracking colleague in the series was played by one of his brothers, George Savalas, who's name in the series was coincidently, Stavros.
Throughout his life, Telly Savalas was not only an accomplished actor but also a charismatic, creative writer, director, and producer. He won the Emmy, the Peabody, and Golden Globe Awards. He was also a strong contributor to his Greek Orthodox roots through the Saint Sophia and Saint Nicholas Cathedrals in Los Angeles, and helped bring electricity in the '70's to his ancestral home of Yeraka, Greece.
Many people do not know that Telly was a Army veteran of World War II, world-class poker player, degreed in psychology; a motorcycle racer, and lifeguard. He appeared in over eighty movies, many of them classics. He was considered by those who knew him a generous, graceful, compassionate man. I came across this rather grainy video on Youtube and just had to share it with you.