Billy Crystal is a Golden Globe Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actor, writer, producer, comedian and film director.
Originally, Crystal studied film and television direction under Martin Scorsese at New York University before he starred in his first prominent role as “Jodie Dallas,” one of the first gay characters portrayed on American television on the hit series Soap. He went on to join the cast of Saturday Night Live where his most famous sketch was his parody of Fernando Lamas, whose catch phrase, “You look mahvelous!” became a media sensation.
Crystal’s first film role was in the film Rabbit Test. He later appeared briefly in the “rockumentary” This Is Spinal Tap and shared the scene with a then-unknown Dana Carvey. Eventually, he reunited with director Rob Reiner in The Princess Bride and then in the smash romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally, earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.
A versatile talent, Crystal also wrote, directed and starred in Forget Paris and Mr. Saturday Night. 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 which earned him 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, raising money for homeless men, women and children in the United States. A recurring presence at the Academy Awards broadcast, he hosted the event eight times throughout the nineties and beyond, earning second place to legendary Oscar host Bob Hope in most ceremonies hosted.
Crystal continued working, appearing in popular films such as Deconstructing Harry, Analyze This, and the sequel Analyze That, and lent his voice to Pixar’s animated film Monsters, Inc. as the voice of “Mike Wazowski.”
Crystal won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event for “700 Sundays,” a two-act play, which he conceived and wrote about his parents and his childhood growing up on Long Island. In 2006 he toured the US with the show, and in 2007 he toured Australia. Crystal turned the play into a book, and in conjunction with the book and the play, he the CD compilation Billy Crystal Presents: The Milt Gabler Story featured the most influential recordings his uncle Milt produced from Billie Holiday.