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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For the American political commentator, see Bill Kristol.
Billy Crystal (born March 14, 1947) is an American actor, writer, producer, and film director. He is 5' 6".
Crystal was born in Long Beach, New York to Jewish-American parents Jack and Helen Crystal. His father worked at, and later managed, the Commodore Music Shop. His uncle was record producer Milt Gabler.
He went to Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia on a baseball scholarship, having learned the game from his father, who pitched for St. John's University. Crystal, however never played a game at Marshall because the program was suspended during his freshman year and he didn't return as a sophomore, staying back in New York with his future wife. He has been married to Janice Goldfinger, with whom he has two daughters, since 1970.
Crystal returned to New York and studied film and television direction under Martin Scorsese at New York University. Crystal's earliest prominent role was as "Jodie Dallas" on Soap, one of the first gay characters portrayed on American television.
He was scheduled to appear on the first episode of Saturday Night Live (October 11, 1975), but his sketch was cut. After hosting a show years later, in 1984, he joined the cast. His most famous recurring sketch was his parody of Fernando Lamas. Crystal's "Fernando" is a smarmy talkshow host whose catch phrase, "You look mahvelous!" became a media sensation.
He appeared briefly in Rob Reiner's 1984 "rockumentary" This Is Spinal Tap. Eventually, Reiner directed Crystal again in the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally..., for which Crystal was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Crystal wrote, directed and starred in Forget Paris (1995) and Mr. Saturday Night (1992). He directed the made for television movie 61* based on Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle's race to break Babe Ruth's single-season home run record in 1961. This earned Crystal an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special.
In 1986, Crystal started hosting Comic Relief on HBO with Robin Williams, and Whoopi Goldberg. Comic Relief, which was founded in 1986 by Andy Kaufman sidekick Bob Zmuda, raises money for homeless men, women and children in the United States.
Crystal hosted the Academy Awards broadcast in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2004.
During the 1992 Academy Awards broadcast, Crystal at one point during the show, looked squarely at the camera and said, "Didn't inhale", a commentary on then Presidential candidate Bill Clinton (who had claimed that he "didn't inhale" when smoking marijuana). The line is considered by some as one of the funniest lines in Academy Awards history.
Crystal is preparing for the national tour of his hit solo show 700 Sundays. The two-act play, which he conceived and wrote, is about his parents and his childhood growing up on Long Island. Crystal won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event for 700 Sundays and will bring the show back to Broadway for a limited run in 2006.
Following the initial success of the play, Crystal wrote the book 700 SUNDAYS for Warner Books, which published October 31, 2005.
Crystal has performed twice with Pixar, once in 2001's Monsters, Inc. and once in their 2005 dub of Studio Ghibli's adaptation of Howl's Moving Castle.
On Tuesday September 6, 2005 on The Tonight Show Crystal and Jay Leno were the first celebrities to sign a Harley-Davidson motorcycle to be auctioned off for Gulf Coast relief.
Rabbit Test — (1978) as "Lionel Carpenter"
Animalympics — (1980) (voiceover) as "Lodge Turkell"
This Is Spinal Tap — (1984) as "Morty the Mime"
Running Scared — (1986) as "Danny Costanzo"
The Princess Bride — (1987) as "Miracle Max"
Throw Momma from the Train — (1987) as "Larry Donner"
Memories of Me — (1988) as Abbie
When Harry Met Sally... — (1989) as "Harry Burns"
City Slickers (1991) as "Mitch Robbins"
Horton Hatches the Egg (1992) (voiceover) narrator
Mr. Saturday Night (1992) as "Buddy Young, Jr."
City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994) as "Mitch Robbins"
Forget Paris (1995) as "Mickey Gordon" (also directed by Billy Crystal)
Hamlet (1996) as "First Gravedigger"
Deconstructing Harry (1997) as "Larry/The Devil"
My Giant (1998) as "Sam 'Sammy' Kamin"
Analyze This (1999) as "Ben Sobel, M.D."
America's Sweethearts (2001) as "Lee Phillips"
Monsters, Inc. (2001) (voiceover) as "Michael Wazowski"
Analyze That (2002) as "Ben Sobel, M.D."
Howl's Moving Castle (2005) (voiceover) as "Calcifer"
Have a Nice Day (2006)
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