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Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal has created one of the most versatile and remarkable careers in the entertainment industry, finding success both in front of the camera as a performer in film and television and behind the scenes as a writer, director and producer. The Long Island native grew up surrounded by music, as his family owned and operated the legendary Commodore label and record store, and his father produced concerts by some of the era's great jazz performers.

Before reaching college, Crystal had shown a knack for stand-up comedy that he later parlayed into a varied stage act that incorporated his gifts for mimicry and satire, as well as creating characters, many based on family members and persons he befriended through the family business.

After enjoying early acceptance as a live comic, he branched out into acting in television as a regular on the popular series Soap, playing the first openly gay character on a network television series. During the 1984-85 television season, the comedian met with phenomenal national success on the legendary late night series Saturday Night Live, creating several memorable characters, such as Fernando and Willie the Masochist, and performing a classic imitation of Sammy Davis Jr.

Crystal produced the acclaimed HBO series Sessions, and became the first comedian to perform in the Soviet Union with his special, Midnight Train to Moscow. He has starred in the films Running Scared, Throw Momma From the Train, Memories of Me, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally…, City Slickers and its sequel City Slickers II: The legend of Curley's Gold, which he also created and executive-produced, and Mr. Saturday Night, which he also directed.

Crystal directed and starred opposite Debra Winger in Forget Paris, and recently appeared in Hamlet, directed by Kenneth Branagh; in Deconstructing Harry, directed by Woody Allen; in the comedy Fathers' Day, starring opposite Robin Williams; and in My Giant, which he also produced.

Crystal has hosted the Grammy Awards three times and the Oscar telecast six times. He has won five Emmy Awards, six American Comedy Awards, and seven CableACE Awards, which pleased him most, as they are all in different categories -- host, comic, writer, producer, director. A dedicated human rights activist, he has co-hosted with Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg all eight Comic Relief telethons, the most recent of which occurred during the filming of Analyze This.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2000.

Billy Crystal Facts

BirthdayMarch 14, 1947 (76)
BirthplaceLong Beach, New York, USA
Height5' 7½" (1m71)  How tall is Billy Crystal compared to you?
Awards1992 MTV Movie Awards: Best Comedic Performance (for City Slickers)

Selected Filmography

Small Apartments
Monsters, Inc.
Monsters University
America's Sweethearts
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
The Princess Bride
Howl's Moving Castle
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
When Harry Met Sally
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