1 9 7 5 – 1 9 8 0 (Canada)
111 x 30 minute episodes
Larry King (Al Waxman) was the plump and balding owner of King’s Variety Store and champion of the underdog in Kensington Market, Toronto (Canada). He was married to Cathy (Fiona Reid), and his mother, Gladys (Helene Winston), also lived with them.
Duke (Bob Vinci), Nestor (Ardon Bess) and Max (John J. Dee) were Larry’s friends and stories related the incidents that befell Larry at home and at work.
Through five years and 111 episodes of King of Kensington, Larry King became something of a Canadian folk hero – unofficial ombudsman/community orator/activist/expediter of one of Toronto’s most vibrant ethnic communities.
The comedy series pulled excellent audience figures – close to two million viewers every week – and was sold to several markets in the US and abroad.
Leaving the show at its peak, Al Waxman – also an accomplished director – next showed up on American TV in Cagney and Lacey as tough NYPD boss Lieutenant Bert Samuels, who learned something about compassion from his two female colleagues.
Al Waxman died during heart surgery in Toronto on 18 January 2001. He was just 65. Following his death, a statue of him, created by Ruth Abernethy, was erected in Kensington Market, the Toronto neighbourhood where King of Kensington took place.
Tony ‘Duke’ Zarro
John J. Dee