After studying drama at Columbia University, Savalas embarked on a successful career as a stage actor and acting instructor. He later appeared in several films, most notably Kelly's Heroes.
He is best known for his role as Detective Stavros on the TV series Kojak. He was often credited as "Demosthenes" or "George Demosthenes" to avoid confusion with his better-known older brother, Telly Savalas.
In his later years, George recorded a popular Greek-language record and toured with his band, appearing at such venues as Carnegie Hall. He returned to the stage, appearing in a number of off-Broadway productions before illness forced him to retire.
He died of leukemia at the age of fifty-eight.