Billy Crystal
American actor
Billy Crystal
William Edward "Billy" Crystal is an American actor, writer, producer, comedian, and film director. He gained prominence in the 1970s for playing Jodie Dallas on the ABC sitcom Soap and became a Hollywood film star during the late 1980s and 1990s, appearing in the critical and box office successes When Harry Met Sally... and City Slickers. He has hosted the Academy Awards nine times through the 84th Academy Awards in 2012.
Biography
Billy Crystal's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Billy Crystal from around the web
Interview: John Goodman on Playing Paul Bunyan in "Bunyan & Babe"
Huffington Post - 15 days
John Goodman is one of Hollywood's most versatile performers, with an astonishing range of iconic performances. He is a Coen brothers favorite, appearing (and often yelling) in "The Big Lebowski," "Barton Fink," and "Raising Arizona." He played Denzel Washington's drug dealer in "Flight," Ben Affleck's Hollywood inside man in "Argo," Roseanne's devoted blue collar husband in "Roseanne," and Linda Tripp as one of the most popular hosts on "Saturday Night Live." His voice performances in animated films include Billy Crystal's best pal in "Monsters Inc." and "Monsters University," Santa in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," Pacha in Disney's "The Emperor's New Groove," and Mr. Prendergast in LAIKA's "ParaNorman." His latest voice performance is in "Bunyan & Babe," as American folklore hero Paul Bunyan, now in limited theatrical release and available for streaming on Google Play (free until February 16, 2017). In an interview, Goodman that his animated performances begin when ...
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Huffington Post article
Valentine’s Day Is Just Another Tricky Day When You’re Divorced
Huffington Post - 24 days
You glance at the calendar. “Ugh,” you think. “It’s coming. Valentine’s Day.” “How could time pass so quickly?” you wonder. “Didn’t I just survive Thanksgiving? Christmas? New Year’s Eve? And without Billy Crystal to come running a few minutes before midnight, no less.” January was a blur. “Thankfully,” you jest. But now you remind yourself, “The worst is yet to come.” None of this has to be the case. Even if you are divorced, whether recently or for decades and are presently uncoupled, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to spell Ben & Jerry’s and sappy rom coms. That’s because Valentine’s Day isn’t only about romance. Valentine’s Day, named after the Christian martyr, Valentine (of which there were many), dates back to the 5th century and is rooted in the ancient Roman fertility festival, Lupercalia. The holiday didn’t become associated with romantic love, however, until the 14th century with the popularization of courting. Not until the 18th century did Valentine’s Day tr ...
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Huffington Post article
Robert DeNiro In The Comedian: DeNiro's Busy Week
Huffington Post - 3 months
You don't have to have a passion for Pagliacci to know the life of a clown has a tragic dimension. Without going to operatic extremes, The Comedian, a movie starring Robert DeNiro as a standup potty-mouthed performer, has a dark side. DeNiro developed the project with Art Linson over eight years, he said at a panel last week for The Comedians at the Plaza Athenee. Robert DeNiro's comic side, honed in movies like Last Vegas to name one, and his huge heart as in his wise, sensitive father in say, Silver Linings Playbook, come together in this movie, especially playing opposite Leslie Mann. The Comedians panel featured director Taylor Hackford, and the superb cast including Danny DeVito and his daughter Lucy, Edie Falco, and Leslie Mann, a comedienne so wide eyed and fresh, she's a revelation. Also featuring Harvey Keitel, Patti LuPone, and a Billy Crystal cameo, the cast is first-rate. Each one steals the show, making for a lot of funny moments. DeNiro works his routines at a soup kitc ...
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Huffington Post article
'Hamilton' Parody Is The Theme Song Hillary Supporters Needed This Election
Huffington Post - 4 months
The best of Broadway gathered Monday night (their one night off, host Billy Crystal joked) to celebrate Hillary Clinton, the presidential candidate most likely to get a free ticket to “Hamilton.”  “Broadway for Hillary” featured an impressive cast of recognizable faces from Hollywood and the Great White Way. Yes, Neil Patrick Harris was there. So was Hugh Jackman. (And Alan Cumming, Bernadette Peters, Dame Helen F**king Mirren ... the list goes on.) Speaking of “Hamilton,” Lin-Manual Miranda showed up with his former costar Renée Elise Goldsberry to perform a rewritten version of the song “The World Was Wide Enough.” It’s not difficult to draw parallels between the politics of two centuries ago and the politics of today ― stolen correspondence, foreign meddling, a rich and entitled New Yorker running for office, etc. But in case you were having trouble, the original stars of the “Hamilton” musical are here to help with a useful parody. Below are the entire lyrics of the new ...
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Huffington Post article
Celebrities Pay Tribute To Gene Wilder With Touching Notes On Social Media
Huffington Post - 6 months
Following the news of Gene Wilder’s death, celebrities came together online Monday to remember the late star.  Harry Connick Jr., Mel Brooks and Tony Goldwyn, among many others, took to Twitter to share touching notes about the screen icon, best known for his role as Willy Wonka in 1971’s “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” and his work in Mel Brooks comedies like “Blazing Saddles.”  Gene Wilder-One of the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship. — Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) August 29, 2016 so sad to learn of the passing of my good friend, gene wilder... such an incredible man... i'll miss you ❤️ — Harry Connick Jr (@HarryConnickJR) August 29, 2016 Young Frankenstein, Silver Streak, Willy Wonka, Blazing Saddles, Stir Crazy: Gene Wilder, you were my youth! RIP ❤️ pic.twitter.com/zK0v4d70gh — James Gunn (@JamesGunn) August 29, 2016 Gene W ...
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Huffington Post article
Billy Crystal does famous Ali impersonation
CNN - 8 months
Comedian Billy Crystal brought laughter to the crowd at Muhammad Ali's memorial service by doing a bit from an old Ali skit.
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CNN article
Billy Crystal explains how he became Ali's 'little brother'
Fox News - 8 months
Actor, comedian delivers eulogy
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Fox News article
Will Smith, Lennox Lewis to be pallbearers at Muhammad Ali funeral
Yahoo News - 9 months
By Steve Bittenbender LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Reuters) - Actor Will Smith and former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis will be among the pallbearers for Muhammad Ali's funeral on Friday, joining a list of notable athletes, entertainers and politicians to mourn the boxing legend. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and comedian Billy Crystal were among those previously announced as participating in public events as the world grieves the loss of the boxer, showman and antiwar activist who captivated global attention in the 1960s and 1970s. One of the transcendent figures of the 20th century, Ali died on Friday at age 74.
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Yahoo News article
Turkey's Erdogan to join dignitaries, celebrities at Ali memorials
Yahoo News - 9 months
By Kia Johnson LOUISVILLE (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will join former U.S. President Bill Clinton and comedian Billy Crystal among the politicians, religious leaders and entertainers speaking at two public memorial services for boxing legend Muhammad Ali this week, a family spokesman said on Monday. More than 30,000 tickets will be distributed to the public for the two memorials scheduled for Thursday and Friday in sports arenas in Ali's home town of Louisville, Kentucky, Ali family spokesman Bob Gunnell said. Mourners who cannot get tickets will be able to watch a funeral procession that will drive Ali's remains through Louisville, including along a boulevard bearing his name, to the Cave Hill Cemetery.
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Yahoo News article
"Little brother" Billy Crystal pays tribute to Muhammad Ali
CBS News - 9 months
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CBS News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Billy Crystal
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2015
    Age 66
    In 2015, Crystal co-starred alongside Josh Gad on the FX comedy series The Comedians, which ran for just one season before being canceled.
    More Details Hide Details Crystal's first film role was in Joan Rivers' 1978 film Rabbit Test. Crystal appeared briefly in the Rob Reiner "rockumentary" This Is Spinal Tap (1984) as Morty The Mime, a waiter dressed as a mime at one of Spinal Tap's parties. He shared the scene with a then-unknown, non-speaking Dana Carvey, stating famously that "Mime is money." He later starred in the action comedy Running Scared (1986) and was directed by Reiner again in The Princess Bride (1987), in a comedic supporting role as "Miracle Max." Reiner got Crystal to accept the part by saying, "How would you like to play Mel Brooks?" Reiner also allowed Crystal to ad-lib, and his parting shot, "Have fun storming the castle!" is a frequently-quoted line. Reiner directed Crystal for a third time in the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally (1989), in which Crystal starred alongside Meg Ryan and for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe. The film has since become an iconic classic for the genre and is Crystal's most celebrated film. Crystal then starred in the award-winning buddy comedy City Slickers (1991), which proved very successful both commercially and critically and for which Crystal was nominated for his second Golden Globe. The film was followed by a sequel, which was less successful. In 1992, he narrated Dr. Seuss Video Classics: Horton Hatches the Egg.
  • 2014
    Age 65
    Crystal was a guest on the first and the last episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, which concluded February 6, 2014 after 22 seasons on the air.
    More Details Hide Details Crystal also made game show appearances such as The Hollywood Squares, All Star Secrets and The $20,000 Pyramid.To this day, he holds the Pyramid franchise's record for getting his contestant partner to the top of the pyramid in winner's circle in the fastest time, 26 seconds.
  • 2013
    Age 64
    In his 2013 memoir Still Foolin' 'Em, Crystal writes that after the ceremony, near the Yankee clubhouse, he was punched in the stomach by Joe DiMaggio, who was angry at Crystal for not having introduced him to the crowd as the "Greatest living player."
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    Crystal later went on to provide the voice of Mike Wazowski in the blockbuster Pixar film Monsters, Inc. (2001), and reprised his voice role in the prequel, Monsters University, which was released in June 2013.
    More Details Hide Details Crystal also provided the voice of Calcifer in the English version of Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle (2004).
    In the fall of 2013, he brought the show back to Broadway for a two-month run at the Imperial Theatre. HBO filmed the January 3–4, 2014 performances for a special, which debuted on their network on April 19, 2014.
    More Details Hide Details In 1986, Crystal started hosting Comic Relief on HBO with Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg. Founded by Bob Zmuda, Comic Relief raises money for homeless people in the United States.
  • 2012
    Age 63
    In the 2012 film Parental Guidance, his character is the announcer for the Fresno Grizzlies, a Minor League Baseball team, and aspires to announce for their Major League affiliate, the San Francisco Giants.
    More Details Hide Details Crystal is also a longtime Los Angeles Clippers fan.
    He returned recently as the host for the 2012 Oscar ceremony, after Eddie Murphy resigned from hosting.
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  • 2011
    Age 62
    At the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony in 2011, he appeared as a presenter for a digitally inserted Bob Hope and before doing so was given a standing ovation.
    More Details Hide Details Film critic Roger Ebert said when Crystal came onstage about two hours into the show, he got the first laughs of the broadcast. Crystal's hosting gigs have regularly included an introductory video segment in which he comedically inserts himself into scenes of that year's nominees in addition to a song following his opening monologue.
  • FIFTIES
  • 2008
    Age 59
    On March 12, 2008, Crystal signed a one-day minor league contract to play with the New York Yankees, and was invited to the team's major league spring training.
    More Details Hide Details He wore uniform number 60 in honor of his upcoming 60th birthday. On March 13, in a spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Crystal led off as the designated hitter. He managed to make contact, fouling a fastball up the first base line, but was eventually struck out by Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm on six pitches and was later replaced in the batting order by Johnny Damon. He was released on March 14, his 60th birthday. Crystal's boyhood idol was Yankee Hall of Fame legend Mickey Mantle who had signed a program for him when Crystal attended a game where Mantle had hit a home run. Years later on The Dinah Shore Show, in one of his first television appearances, Crystal met Mantle in person and had Mantle re-sign the same program. Crystal would be good friends with Mickey Mantle until Mantle's death in 1995. He and Bob Costas together wrote the eulogy Costas read at Mantle's funeral, and George Steinbrenner then invited Crystal to emcee the unveiling of Mantle's monument at Yankee Stadium.
  • 2005
    Age 56
    Following the initial success of the play, Crystal wrote the book 700 Sundays for Warner Books, which was published on October 31, 2005.
    More Details Hide Details In conjunction with the book and the play that also paid tribute to his uncle, Milt Gabler, Crystal produced two CD compilations: Billy Crystal Presents: The Milt Gabler Story, which featured his uncle's most influential recordings from Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" to "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets; and Billy Remembers Billie featuring Crystal's favorite Holiday recordings.
    On September 6, 2005, on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Crystal and Jay Leno were the first celebrities to sign a Harley-Davidson motorcycle to be auctioned off for Gulf Coast relief.
    More Details Hide Details Crystal has participated in the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Portraying himself in a video, Crystal introduces museum guests to the genealogy wing of the museum.
    Crystal won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event for 700 Sundays, a two-act, one-man play, which he conceived and wrote about his parents and his childhood growing up on Long Island.
    More Details Hide Details He toured throughout the US with the show in 2006 and then Australia in 2007.
  • 2001
    Age 52
    His mother, Helen Crystal, died in 2001.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1996
    Age 47
    In 1996, Crystal was the guest star of the third episode of Muppets Tonight and hosted three Grammy Awards Telecasts: the 29th Grammys; the 30th Grammys; and the 31st Grammys.
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  • 1990
    Age 41
    Crystal hosted the Academy Awards broadcast in 1990–1993, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004 and 2012.
    More Details Hide Details His hosting was critically praised, resulting in two Emmy wins for hosting and writing the 63rd Academy Awards and an Emmy win for writing the 64th Academy Awards.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1985
    Age 36
    Crystal subsequently released an album of his stand-up material titled Mahvelous! in 1985, as well as the single "You Look Marvelous", which peaked at No. 58 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, and No. 17 in Canada.
    More Details Hide Details Also in the 1980s, Crystal starred in an episode of Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre as the smartest of the three little pigs.
  • 1984
    Age 35
    After hosting Saturday Night Live twice, on March 17, 1984 and the show's ninth season finale on May 5, he joined the regular cast for the 1984-85 season.
    More Details Hide Details His most famous recurring sketch was his parody of Fernando Lamas, a smarmy talk-show host whose catchphrase, "You look... mahvelous!," became a media sensation.
  • 1982
    Age 33
    In 1982, Billy Crystal hosted his own variety show, The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour on NBC.
    More Details Hide Details When Crystal arrived to shoot the fifth episode, he learned it had been canceled after only the first two aired.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1977
    Age 28
    Crystal's earliest prominent role was as Jodie Dallas on Soap, one of the first unambiguously homosexual characters in the cast of an American television series. He continued in the role during the series' entire 1977–1981 run.
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  • 1976
    Age 27
    He was on the dais for The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast of Muhammad Ali on February 19, 1976, where he did impressions of both Ali and sportscaster Howard Cosell.
    More Details Hide Details He was scheduled to appear on the first episode of NBC Saturday Night (later renamed Saturday Night Live) (October 11, 1975), but his sketch was cut. He did perform on episode 17 of that first season, doing a monologue of an old jazz man capped by the line "Can you dig it? I knew that you could." Host Ron Nessen introduced him as "Bill Crystal."
    In 1976, Crystal appeared on an episode of All in the Family.
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  • 1970
    Age 21
    Crystal and his wife Janice (née Goldfinger) married in June 1970, have two daughters, actress Jennifer and producer Lindsay, and are grandparents.
    More Details Hide Details They reside in Pacific Palisades, California.
    He graduated from NYU in 1970 with a BFA from its School of Fine Arts, not yet named for the Tisch family.
    More Details Hide Details One of his instructors was Martin Scorsese while Oliver Stone and Christopher Guest were among his classmates. Crystal returned to New York City. For four years he was part of a comedy trio with two friends. They played colleges and coffee houses and Crystal worked as a substitute teacher on Long Island. He later became a solo act and performed regularly at The Improv and Catch a Rising Star.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1965
    Age 16
    After graduation from Long Beach High School in 1965, Crystal attended Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia on a baseball scholarship, having learned the game from his father, who pitched for St. John's University.
    More Details Hide Details Crystal never played baseball at Marshall because the program was suspended during his first year. He did not return to Marshall as a sophomore, instead deciding to stay in New York to be close to his future wife. He attended Nassau Community College with Janice, and later transferred to New York University, where he was a film and television directing major.
  • 1963
    Age 14
    With the decline of Dixieland jazz circa 1963, Crystal's father lost his business, and died later that year at the age of 54 after suffering a heart attack while bowling.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1948
    Born
    Born on March 14, 1948.
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