Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal

His role as Jodie Dallas on sitcom Soap
Background:American director/writer/producer/comedian/host/actor Billy Crystal initially found fame on the small screen for portraying a gay man, Jodie Dallas, in the 1971 sitcom "Soap" (1977-1981), and for his memorable comic performances in "Saturday Night Live" (1984-1985). On the wide screen, Crystal drew praise for his outstanding performance in the hilarious, middle-age-angst comedy film City Slickers (1991), in which he netted a MTV Movie award and an American Comedy Award. In 1999, Crystal took home a Blockbuster Entertainment award for his portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Ben Sobel in the comedy film Analyze This (1999). As a filmmaker, Crystal received recognition for directing the HBO baseball-themed drama 61* (2001), in which he earned nominations at the Emmys and with the Director’s Guild.Billy Crystal has also built a reputation for being an outstanding host. He is best known for hosting the Academy Awards from 1990-2004, for which Crystal won three Emmy Awards, as well as four American Comedy Awards. Crystal also nabbed a Cable ACE Award for his fine work in the HBO Comic Relief V (1992). Formerly, he earned two Emmys after delivering bravura performances on The 30th Annual Grammy Awards (1987/88) and The 31st Annual Grammy Awards (1988/89).Recently, Billy Crystal added a Tony Award to his impressive accomplishments for his outstanding stage work in the Broadway production of 700 Sundays (2004).Off screen, 5'8" tall Crystal and his When Harry Meet Sally costar, Meg Ryan, were named the British chain store Woolworths’ greatest on-screen couple of all time for their work in the film. Crystal lives outside of the limelight with his wife Janice Crystal and their two daughters, Jennifer Crystal (actress; born in 1973) and Lindsay Crystal (actress; born in 1977).I Already Know I Love youChildhood and Family:In Long Beach, Long Island, New York, Billy Crystal was born on March 14, 1947. His father is Jack Crystal, a jazz promoter who also ran the Commodore Music Shop, and her mother is Helen Crystal. He has two brothers, Joel (high school teacher) and Richard (television producer). Billy is also the nephew of Milt Gabler, a record producer who formed Commodore Records and Decca Records. Being raised in a showbiz family, Billy aspired to become a performer when he was only a little boy.Billy attended Long Beach High School in which he was named “Most Popular.” Upon high school graduation, Billy relocated to Huntington to attend Marshall University on a baseball scholarship. In his sophomore year, however, Billy was forced to leave college due to the cancellation of the program. Billy next made his way back to New York and began studying theater at Nassau Community College, in Garden City, New York. Billy earned his B.F.A degree in film and television direction from the New York University where he studied under the guidance of Martin Scorsese.While studying at Nassau Community College, Billy met Janice Crystal. In 1970, the couple tied the knot and their first daughter, Jennifer Crystal, was born three years later. The couple welcomed their second child, a baby daughter named Lindsay Crystal, in 1977.Off screen, curly-haired comedian Billy Crystal is also a writer. He has written a children’s book titled "I Already Know I Love you," which is dedicated to his first granddaughter, Ella Ryan. After being launched in 2004, "I Already Know I Love you" reached No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List.City SlickersCareer:Brilliant, likable comedian Billy Crystal decided to become a performer at age 5. Studying comic greats like Ernie Kovacs, Laurel and Hardy, and Jonathan Winters, Crystal began making the club rounds by age 16. By the time he graduated from NYU, Crystal, who once worked as a part-time teacher, had formed his own comedy group called 3's Company before pursuing a career as a solo stand-up comedian. In 1975, Crystal was set to perform five minutes stand-up on the first episode of Saturday Night Live, but he walked off when his appearance was cut to two. He also appeared in the television series "Keep on Truckin'" (1975). After doing time as an opening act for musicians such as Barry Manilow, Billy Joel, Neil Sedaka and Sha Na Na, Crystal headed to Hollywood.Crystal’s first brush with fame arrived when he was cast in the regular character of Jodie Dallas in the 1977 sitcom “Soap." He also made his television film debut in SST: Death Flight (1977). Crystal then received a starring role in his first big screen film Rabbit Test (1978), for writer/director Joan Rivers. He next appeared in several television movies such as Human Feelings (1978), The T.V. Show (1979), Breaking Up Is Hard to Do (1979), Enola Gay: The Men, the Mission, the Atomic Bomb (1980) and Likely Stories, Vol. 3 (1983), as well as provided his voice for the animated film Animalympics (1980). He even appeared briefly in Rob Reiner's 1984 "rockumentary" This Is Spinal Tap (1984). Crystal also landed hosting gigs in the short-lived NBC varieties series, "The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour" (1982), and the HBO comedy special, "Billy Crystal: A Comics Line.”His career gained real momentum in 1984 when Crystal joined the regular cast members in the 1971 series "Saturday Night Live." Working with fellow performers like Christopher Guest and Martin Short, Crystal created numerous unforgettable characters and catch lines like his well known parody of Fernando Lamas (“You look mahvelous!”). By the time he left the show in 1985, Crystal was positioned as a television star. In 1986, Crystal hosted HBO’s Comic Relief with Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg, and its continuations in 1987, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1995 and 1998. In Comic Relief V (1992), he netted a Cable ACE award for Best Entertainment Host, sharing the honor with Williams and Goldberg.Returning to films, Crystal starred in such films as Running Scared (1986, portrayed wisecracking cop Danny Costanzo), The Princess Bride (1987, as Miracle Max), Throw Momma from the Train (1987), Memories of Me (1988) and When Harry Met Sally (1989, opposite Meg Ryan).Crystal had the opportunity to host the annual Grammy Awards in 1987 and in 1988, in which his significant performance handed him two Emmys for Outstanding Performance in Special Events. He went on to attract the public’s attention with his memorable emcee stints at the Academy Awards in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2004. As a quick-witted host, Crystal won three Emmys in the categories of Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program and Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program (1990-1992). Additionally, he picked up four American Comedy awards for Funniest Male Performer in a TV Special (Leading or Supporting) Network - Cable or Syndication (1993), Creative Achievement (1993), Funniest Male Performer in a TV Special (Leading or Supporting) Network - Cable or Syndication (1994) and Funniest Male Performer in a TV Special (Leading or Supporting) Network - Cable or Syndication (1999).After two year away from films, Crystal made his way back in 1991 by teaming up with Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel in the hilarious comedy City Slickers (1991, also served as an executive producer). Delivering a bright performance, Crystal took home a MTV Movie award for Best Comedic Performance and an American Comedy for Funniest Actor in a Film. The film marked Crystal’s most successful film project to date.Crystal next starred and made his feature directorial debut in Mr. Saturday Night (1992), repeated his earlier success with the popular sequel City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994) and had another directing stint in the romantic comedy Forget Paris (1995). Unluckily, the film, in which he also starred, produced and wrote, was a disappointment. Crystal then decided to concentrate more on acting. He first appeared in William Shakespeare's Hamlet (1996), costarred with Robin Williams in the unsatisfactory film Fathers' Day (1997) and played Larry/The Devil in Woody Allen’s Deconstructing Harry (1997). In 1998, Crystal acted and made another behind-the-scene effort in My Giant (1998). Like its predecessors, the film was also considered a flop.At the end of decade, stand-up comedian-turned-actor Crystal was back in the Hollywood mainstream when he joined Robert De Nero to star as a psychiatrist named Dr. Ben Sobel in the comedy Analyze This (1999, also served as an executive producer). The film won both the hearts of audiences and critics alike, and Crystal nabbed a Blockbuster Entertainment award for Favorite Comedy Team (shared with costar Robert De Nero).Back in the director's chair, Crystal eventually made a name for himself when he helmed the HBO baseball-themed drama 61* (2001), detailing the 1961 home-run race between New York Yankees stars Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. The film garnered praised, as well as received a total of 12 Emmy nominations, including one for Best Director and Best Made for Television Movie. It also brought Crystal a prestigious Director’s Guild nomination. That same year, Crystal co-scripted and starred in America's Sweethearts (2001) and provided his voice for Mike Wazowski in the popular animated comedy fantasy Monsters, Inc (2001). After another voice role in the television series "Liberty's Kids: Est. 1776" (2002), Crystal rejoined De Nero for the sequel Analyze That (2002), and two years later, he lent his voice to Calcifer in the animated Sci-fi Howl's Moving Castle (2004).Fifty-eight-year-old Crystal will soon play a US president, facing an appointment with the Grim Reaper, in the upcoming Have a Nice Day (2005). He is also scheduled to play the lead in the WB remake of the French comedy Apres Vouz (After You).On stage, Billy Crystal debuted on Broadway in the one-man show 700 Sundays (2004), a two-act play in which he portrayed numerous characters from his life. Recently, he won a Tony for Best Special Theatrical Event for his brilliant work. He is planning to bring the show back to Broadway for a limited run in 2006.Awards: Tony Award: "700 Sundays,” 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival: AFI Star Award, 2001 Hasty Pudding Theatricals: Man of the Year, 2000 Blockbuster Entertainment: Favorite Comedy Team; shared with Robert De Niro, Analyzed This, 2000 American Comedy: Funniest Male Performer in a TV Special (Leading or Supporting) Network - Cable or Syndication, The 70th Annual Academy Awards, 1999 American Comedy: Funniest Male Performer in a TV Special (Leading or Supporting) Network - Cable or Syndication, The 65th Annual Academy Awards, 1994 American Comedy: Creative Achievement Award, 1993 American Comedy: Funniest Male Performer in a TV Special (Leading or Supporting) Network - Cable or Syndication, The 64th Annual Academy Awards, 1993 Cable ACE: Best Entertainment Host, Comic Relief V; shared with Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams, 1992 American Comedy: Funniest Actor in a Film, City Slickers, 1992 MTV Movie: Best Comedic Performance, City Slickers, 1991 Emmy: Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program, The 64th Annual Academy Awards; shared award with five writers, 1991/92 Emmy: Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program, The 63rd Annual Academy Awards; shared award with five writers, 1990/91 Emmy: Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program, The 63rd Annual Academy Awards, 1990/91 Emmy: Outstanding Performance in Special Events, The 31st Annual Grammy Awards, 1988/89 Emmy: Outstanding Performance in Special Events, The 30th Annual Grammy Awards, 1987/88
Jiminy Cricket was a phenomenal character.More Billy Crystal quotes [04/11/2006 12:04:00]
I love doing it [hosting the Oscars] because I love the danger of it and you have to come through and think on your feet. That's why that show, no matter who hosts it, it really should be a fast-thinking comedian who is really quick on their feet that can handle situations that happen, or somebody with that kind of mentality that can capitalize on something.More Billy Crystal quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Bambi, to a kid, was scary.More Billy Crystal quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
There was always a stand-up on Ed Sullivan on Sunday and my dad would bring home comedy albums from the store.More Billy Crystal quotes [04/11/2006 12:04:00]
As a director and an actor, I encourage improvisation but in character and in the moment of what it is.More Billy Crystal quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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