Year Born: 1935
Year Died: 2001
Waxman, Al (1935-2001)
Born and raised in Toronto, Al Waxman’s contribution to Canadian Broadcasting was but a small part of a very active life in the Arts. He fell in love with acting (and gave up a consuming passion for hockey) when he saw the movie, The Jolson Story. At 17, he was a cast member of live radio dramas on CBC and CKEY radio in 1952, toting scripts for Doorway To Fairyland amongst his high school textbooks.
Al received numerous industry awards and award nominations for his work in film and television, including the Gemini, ACTRA, Clio and Emmy awards. He taught as an Adjunct Professor of Theatre and Film at York University from 1986 to 1996. He was actively involved with a number of cultural and charitable groups including B’nai B’rith Canada, Big Brothers, Variety Club, Canadian Film Centre, Directors’ Guild of Canada, ACTRA, and the Ontario Film Development Corporation. Al Waxman was a recipient of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal, and was made a member of the Order of Ontario in 1996 and a member of the Order of Canada in 1997. In 1999, Malcolm Lester Books published his autobiography, That’s What I Am. In early 2000 he joined the Board of Directors of the Toronto Arts Council.
Al’s CBC contributions, as an actor, include:
1975, The Clown Murders
1977, The Winnings of Frankie Walls by Rob Forsyth, For The Record
1975-1980 King Of Kensington, as Larry King
1999 – Net Worth
Al’s CTV contributions, as an actor, include:
1998-2000, Power Play, as Lloyd Gorman
1999-2001, Twice in a Lifetime, as Othniel
He co-starred with Sharon Gless and Tyne Daley from 1982 to 1988 as Lieut. Bert Samuels in the CBS series Cagney and Lacey. He directed episodes of The Littlest Hobo and Cagney and Lacey.
Al was also a successful actor at Stratford, Ontario, as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. At the time of his death, in 2001, he had learned the part of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare.
The personal collection of Al Waxman was made available to the public in the Performing Arts Centre at the Toronto Reference Library. The collection includes original memorabilia from Waxman’s career including scripts, scrapbooks, correspondence, clippings and photographs.
On June 23, 2002 a life-size, cast bronze statue of Al Waxman standing between two park benches was unveiled at Bellevue Square Park, near Kensington Market in Toronto.
In December 2016, Al Waxman was postumously inducted to Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto.
Written by John Corcelli – August, 2002