Late actor Telly Savalas
's personal life was as much a mystery as some of the plots on his popular TV detective series, Kojak
, according to family and friends.
"He always used to say he was a kind of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and there was a side of him that maybe we shouldn't know," says daughter Christina Savalas Kousakis on this Tuesday's A&E Biography on the star (8 pm/ET, 9 pm/PT). The special reveals that even close family members knew little about the details surrounding the bald actor's life, such as the little-talked-about military past that led some to believe he might have once served as a spy.
"He showed the world one person but I think if you really wanted to get to know him, that was a very closed area," says Willa Ward, who worked with Savalas during his early acting days in theater. His second wife, Lynn, says that her late ex-husband was very effective in glossing over things, but he did confess that he was in fear of losing his fame.
"One of the things he said many times was that 'Someday they're going to find me out and send me home,'" says Lynn. Indeed, Savalas's career had peaked long before his death of bladder cancer in 1994. Still, the lollipop-sucking actor left behind a $6 million estate ? currently being contested by various family members ? and many warm memories for his survivors.
"We liked rubbing his head and it was sort of fun to watch him shave every day," recalls daughter Christina. "I thought it was very cool. I thought it made him look younger and not kind of, sort of old-mannish." ? Rich Brown