Profile of Billy Crystal
Billy Crystal is a former cast member of Saturday Night Live, the star of such comedies as When Harry Met Sally... (1989, with Meg Ryan) and Analyze This (1999, co-starring Robert DeNiro) and a frequent host of the Academy Award telecasts. Billy Crystal grew up around show business (his dad was a concert promoter) and got his start as a stand-up comedian who was shortish, Long Islandish, and Jewish. During the 1970s he did guest spots on TV talk shows and became famous for his (then-daring) role as a gay man on the controversial comedy series Soap (1977-81). He spent only one season on SNL (1984-85), but many of his characters became weekly staples, and Billy Crystal catchphrases (including the smarmy "You look maahr-ve-lous!") made their way into the pop culture lexicon. In the early 1990s he established himself as a warm-hearted leading man in comedy films like City Slickers (1991, with Jack Palance) and Forget Paris (1995), and was a popular and irreverent host of the Academy Awards. He made his directorial debut with 1992's Mr. Saturday Night. His other films include The Princess Bride (1987), Monsters, Inc. (2001), the sequel Analyze That (2002), and a small voice role in the animated film Cars (2006). His one-man Broadway show, 700 Sundays, won a 2005 Tony Award as Best Special Theatrical Event. He published a book by the same title in 2005.
Crystal has hosted the Academy Award telecast nine times, counting his 2012 appearance: from 1990-93, then in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, and 2012… He is a longtime fan of the New York Yankees baseball team. He directed the 2001 HBO movie 61*, about the 1961 seasons of Yankees teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle… The title 700 Sundays refers to Billy Crystal’s childhood weekends with his father, who died when Crystal was 15.
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