CBC Digital Archives

Al Waxman enjoys opening day at the CNE

media clip
When he walks down the street, he smiles at everyone... and on opening day at the Ex, kids from all over Canada grin ear to ear as they tell their tales to the King of Kensington, Al Waxman. It's a chilly August morning at the 1979 Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto and the beloved everyman welcomes young and old alike to the first day of the annual fair. This clip helps us recall how his joy being the King brought out the best in everyone around him.
• Born in Toronto on March 2, 1935, Al Waxman was raised in Kensington Market, where his parents ran a small restaurant, Melinda Lunch. He studied acting in London and New York, and took on several small roles in film, television and radio. In 1974, Waxman got his big break, landing the lead role in CBC Television's King of Kensington. The series ran for 44 episodes from 1975-1980.

• Although the role of Larry King made Waxman a household name in Canada, he went on to star in many other highly successful productions, including five years on the American television series Cagney & Lacey and a stand-out performance as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman at the 1997 Stratford Festival. Waxman won a Gemini for his role in the 1995 television hockey movie Net Worth. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1996.

• Al Waxman passed away at age 65 on Jan. 18, 2001, due to complications after heart surgery. In 2002, the City of Toronto honoured his life's work and his place in the heart of Kensington Market with a life-size bronze statue of Al Waxman unveiled in Bellevue Square Park.
Medium: Television
Program: CNE 101
Broadcast Date: Aug. 15, 1979
Guest(s): Al Waxman
Host: Barbara McLeod
Duration: 5:04

Last updated: August 18, 2014

Page consulted on August 18, 2014

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