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Living with the Dead (released in Europe as Talking to Heaven) is a 2002 supernatural crime drama directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal and starring Ted Danson, Diane Ladd, Queen Latifah, Mary Steenburgen and Jack Palance. It was inspired by the life of medium James Van Praagh. The film first aired in the U.S. on CBS-TV. It was later rated PG-13.[1]

Living with the Dead
Talking to Heaven.jpg
Based onTalking to Heaven
by James Van Praagh
Written byJohn Pielmeier
Directed byStephen Gyllenhaal
StarringTed Danson
Mary Steenburgen
Diane Ladd
Michael Moriarty
Theme music composerNormand Corbeil
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Greg Gugliotta
Shanna Nussbaum
Stanley M. Brooks
Scott W. Anderson (co-executive producer)
Stephen Gyllenhaal (co-executive producer)
Producer(s)Preston Fischer
Richard J. Anobile (associate producer)
John Pielmeier (co-producer)
James Van Praagh (co-producer)
CinematographyJeff Jur
Editor(s)Neil Mandelberg
Running time240 min.
Production company(s)Nitelite Entertainment
Columbia Broadcasting System
Gaslight Pictures
Once Upon a Time Films
DistributorColumbia Broadcasting System
MTI Home Video
Sonar Entertainment
Original release
  • April 28, 2002 (2002-04-28)
(Part 1)
  • April 30, 2002 (2002-04-30)
(Part 2)

In the United States, the film was released as Living with the Dead; the working title was Talking to Heaven, and this was also the release title in Europe.


Seven dead boys are trying to communicate through James (Ted Danson), to tell their story of how they died, and how their murderer is still out there. James agrees to work alongside the detective investigating the murders, and discovers who murdered the seven boys.[2]


  • Ted Danson as James Van Praagh
  • Mary Steenburgen as Detective Karen Condrin
  • Diane Ladd as Regina Van Praagh
  • Michael Moriarty as Adrian, Psychic
  • Connor Widdows as Young James Van Praagh
  • Joy Coghill as Mrs. Ziff
  • Jay Brazeau as Psychiatrist
  • Maggie Blue O'Hara as Sandy - Andy's deaf sister
  • Queen Latifah as Midge Harmon
  • Jack Palance as Allan Van Praagh
  • Reece Thompson as Andy, Abducted Boy
  • Neil Denis as Dennis Branston
  • Mikela Jay as Young Regina Van Praagh (billed as Mikela J. Mikael)
  • Eric Breker as Young Allan Van Praagh
  • Lindsay Bourne as Priest
  • Kavan Smith as Matt
  • Hiro Kanagawa as Frank the Business Consultant
  • Bill Meilen as Eli Ziff
  • John B. Lowe as David Ziff
  • Henry O. Watson as Walter Branston
  • Veena Sood as Mrs. Morse, School Teacher
  • David Kaye as Gideon Morse
  • James Kirk as Eddie Katz, Molly's Son
  • Joel Palmer as Second Boy
  • Ben Johnson as Third Boy
  • Branden Nadon as Fourth Boy
  • Matthew Brevner as Fifth Boy
  • Jaren Brandt Bartlett as Sixth Boy
  • Bethoe Shirkoff as James' Grandmother
  • Michael Eklund as Ronnie Higgins
  • Ben Baxter as Billy, Boy in Schoolyard
  • Nancy Sivak as Sister Mary Edward
  • Karen Elizabeth Austin as Nun (billed as Karen Austin)
  • Dee Jay Jackson as Police Desk Sergeant (billed as Deejay Jackson)
  • Klodyne Rodney as Nurse
  • Kwesi Ameyaw as Doctor
  • Lorena Gale as Midge's Grandmother
  • Richard Sali as News Vendor
  • David Petersen as Karen's Father
  • Jessica Schreier as Psychiatrist's Wife


The movie was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[3]


  1. ^ `Living With the Dead' brings Danson to life, Allan Johnson, Chicago Tribune, April 26, 2002; accessed February 17, 2013
  2. ^ Messages From Beyond, Susan King, Los Angeles Times, April 28, 2002; accessed February 17, 2013
  3. ^ IMDb

External linksEdit