Billy Crystal (born March 14, 1947 in Long Beach, New York) is an United States actor, writer, film producer, comedian and film director.
Crystal is the son of American Jewish 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. He is a very devoted New York Yankees and Los Angeles Clippers fan.
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 (TV series), 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. He did do a stand-up bit later on that first season as "Bill Crystal", on the April 17, 1976 episode. http://snltranscripts.jt.org/75/75qcrystal.phtml After hosting a show years later, in 1984 in television, he joined the cast. His most famous recurring sketch was his parody of Fernando Lamas. Crystal's "Fernando" is a smarmy talk show host whose catch phrase, "You look mahvelous!" became a media sensation.
He appeared briefly in Rob Reiner's 1984 in film "rockumentary" This Is Spinal Tap as Morty The Mime, a waiter dressed as a mime at one of Spinal Tap's parties. Eventually, Reiner directed Crystal again in The Princess Bride (film) and then in the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally..., for which Crystal was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Crystal also made game show appearances such as The Hollywood Squares and Pyramid (game show). He holds the record for getting his contestant partner to the top of the pyramid in the bonus round in the fastest time which is 26 seconds.
Crystal wrote, directed and starred in Forget Paris (1995 in film) and Mr. Saturday Night (1992 in film). 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 Home Box Office 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, and, apparently, turned down the opportunity to host the 2006 ceremony wanting to concentrate on his one-man show. He is second only to legendary Oscar host, Bob Hope, in most ceremonies hosted.
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 continued working, appearing in popular films such as Deconstructing Harry with Woody Allen and then Analyze This with Robert De Niro. Analyze This even had a sequel, where both Crystal and De Niro returned, called Analyze That.
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 was published on October 31, 2005. In conjunction with the book and the play, which also paid tribute to Gabler, Crystal produced two CD compilations: Billy Crystal Presents: The Milt Gabler Story featured the most influential recordings his uncle produced from Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" to "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets; Billy Remembers Billie featured Crystal's favorite Holiday recordings.
Crystal has lent his voice to Pixar's animated feature film Monsters, Inc. as the voice of Mike Wazowski, and in the English version of Howl's Moving Castle as the voice of Calcifer. Pixar had originally approached him to provide the voice of Buzz Lightyear, but he turned down their offer, something he regretted later.
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) - (1978) as "Lionel Carpenter" Animalympics - (1980) (voiceover) as "Lodge Turkell" This Is Spinal Tap - (1984) as "Morty the Mime" Running Scared (film) - (1986) as "Danny Costanzo" The Princess Bride (film) - (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) narrator (voice) 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 film) (1996) as "First Gravedigger" Deconstructing Harry (1997) as "Larry/The Devil" Fathers' Day (film) (1997) as "Jack Lawrence" 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) as Mike Wazowski (voice) Analyze That (2002) as "Ben Sobel, M.D." Howl's Moving Castle (2005) as "Calcifer" (voice) Have a Nice Day (2006) Cars (film) (2006) (cameo voice)
Recurring Characters on SNL
Al Minkman, a shady businessman Buddy Young, Jr. (an insult comic who appears on Weekend Update) Lew Goldman Ricky, a bowler Tony Minetti, a butcher Willie, a man who, along with his friend, Frankie (played by Christopher Guest), discuss their masochistic tendencies
Celebrity Impersonations on SNL
Haing S. Ngor Fernando Lamas (one of his most well-known impressions on SNL during his year-long tenure on the show) Hervé Villechaize Howard Cosell Joe Franklin Joe Garagiola John F. Kennedy Muhammed Ali Prince (musician) Sammy Davis, Jr. (in what's considered to be SNL's most flawless celebrity impersonation http://www.saturday-night-live.com/snl/miscellaneousstuff/documents/top50impressions.html)
I Already Know I Love You (2004) A children's book. grandpa's little one (2006) A children's book.
Courtesy of: http://www.wikipedia.org/