Al Waxman

Active - 1961 - 2001  |   Born - Mar 2, 1935   |   Died - Jan 18, 2001   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Crime, Action

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Ubiquitous Canadian actor/director Al Waxman is not always cast in leading roles, but he is invariably given special billing, usually with a box around his name in the opening credits. This honor is well-deserved; in show business since the 1950s, Waxman labored long and hard to make a name for himself. During his first Hollywood stay in the 1960s, Waxman worked as a waiter and bouncer between engagements. He was fired from his job as a short-order cook at Barney's Beanery after sneaking extra portions of food to his fellow starving artists. Returning to Canada in the late 1960s, Waxman directed several intriguing but unsuccessful low-budget films, among them Tviggy (the story of a Jewish model), The Crowd Inside, and the soft-core My Pleasure is My Business. He finally struck gold in the role of blue-collar blowhard Larry King on the popular 1970s Canadian sitcom King of Kensington, which clocked in at 111 episodes, 65 of which were syndicated to the U.S. On the strength of this series, Louis Malle cast Waxman as ever-grinning cocaine dealer Alfie in Atlantic City (1980). Waxman has remained busy ever since, as both actor and director (White Light [1991], The Diamond Fleece [1992]). Most American televiewers know Waxman as short-tempered Lt. Bert Samuels on Cagney and Lacey (1982-88). For many years, Al Waxman's wife Sara wrote a food and restaurant column for a major Toronto newspaper.

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