Twice In a Lifetime
Al Waxman starred in this one-hour series, and had just completed the second season’s final episode when he went into hospital for heart bypass surgery. Complications followed, and the Canadian acting community lost one of its brightest stars. Waxman played hundreds of roles in both Canada and the U.S. during his 65 years, but was probably best known as the King of Kensington, the role he played in a highly successful CBC series. Americans knew him best as Lieutenant Bert Samuels in the long-running series Cagney and Lacey.
In Twice In a Lifetime, he was celestial guardian Judge Othniel, before whom a heavenly guide, Mr. Smith, played in the first year by Jeff Probst and in the second by Paul Popiel, would each week bring someone who had just died. Guest stars played the weekly supplicants, who would try to justify being given a chance to return to earth as different people, to try to persuade their younger selves to change not only their lives, but thereby the lives of those around them.
Gordy Brown played another regular character, Mr. Jones, and guest stars who appeared in the series included Cloris Leachman, Daniel Baldwin, Brent Carver, Corbin Bernson, Kate Jackson, Patrick Duffy, Lesley Ann Warren, Martin Mull, Markie Post and Ralph Macchio.
Twice in a Lifetime was produced on film in Toronto. The one-hour series played on CTV on Saturdays, at 7:00pm in 1999-2000 and at 8:00pm in the following season. It was seen on the Pax Channel in the U.S. It returned to the network in repeats early in 2003, and was also seen on Vision TV.
Written by Pip Wedge - February, 2003