Tony and Emmy Award-winning comedian, actor, producer, writer and director Billy Crystal is known to audiences around the world as the star of such feature films as WHEN HARRY MET SALLY… (1989), City Slickers (1991) and Analyze This (1999); as a cast member of NBC’s Saturday Night Live; and as the acclaimed nine-time host of the Academy Awards.
Crystal landed his first major television role in 1977 on the comedy series Soap, playing Jodie Dallas, one of the first openly gay characters on TV. In 1984, he hosted Saturday Night Live and a few months later joined the regular cast. His best-known SNL creation was Fernando, an unctuous talk show host whose tagline, “You look mahvelous!” entered the popular lexicon.
In 2017, he completed a 30-city North American tour, which garnered rave reviews in every market. The previous year, Crystal embarked on a hugely successful and critically acclaimed 13-day tour in six major cities of Australia and New Zealand.
In 2015, Crystal made his return to series television opposite Josh Gad in the FX series The Comedians. Crystal portrayed a superstar veteran comedian who is reluctantly paired with Gad, an edgier up-and-coming star, in an unfiltered, behind-the-scenes look at a late-night sketch comedy show where egos and generations collide.
Crystal’s many feature-film credits include the buddy cop comedy Running Scared (1986), Rob Reiner’s comic fairy tale The Princess Bride (1987) and Danny DeVito’s dark comedy Throw Momma from the Train (1987). But his breakthrough role came in 1989 when he starred opposite Meg Ryan in Reiner’s WHEN HARRY MET SALLY…, which became a romantic touchstone for a generation of moviegoers. Other iconic titles include Mr. Saturday Night (1992) and America’s Sweethearts (2001). In addition, he starred opposite Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei in the 2012 Christmas family comedy Parental Guidance, which he also produced.
He is the voice of one eyed Mike Wazowski in Disney-Pixar’s animated global blockbusters Monsters Inc. (2001) and its prequel Monsters University (2013). As a director, Crystal was nominated for both an Emmy and a Directors Guild Award for his direction of the 2001 HBO movie 61*, which told the dramatic story of the 1961 race between Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris to break Babe Ruth’s single-season home-run record.
In addition to hosting the Oscars nine times—most recently in 2012—Crystal has also hosted the Grammy Awards three times. His work as a host, writer and producer on the televised awards shows has earned him 14 Emmy nominations and five wins. Crystal won a sixth Emmy for his 1989 HBO comedy special, Billy Crystal: Midnight Train to Moscow. Other HBO specials include Billy Crystal: A Comic’s Line and “Billy Crystal: Don’t Get Me Started – The Lost Minutes”
The recipient of the 2007 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Crystal has written five books, including Absolutely Mahvelous (1986) and 700 Sundays (2005) and two children’s books: I Already Know I Love You (2004) and Grandpa’s Little One (2006).
Most recently, Crystal co-wrote, produced and starred alongside Kevin Kline and Annette Bening in Have a Nice Day, a play that was recorded live at The Minette Lane Theatre. It was released on Audible on in November 2018 and became an instant bestseller. In 2013, he wrote the New York Times best-selling memoir Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?, in which Crystal offers his heartfelt and humorous observations on aging. The audiobook version debuted at number one on iTunes and was nominated for a Grammy Award for the Best Spoken Word Album and won the Audiobook of the Year at the 2014 Audies Gala.
Crystal made his Broadway debut in 2004 with the original production of his one-man show 700 Sundays, for which he won a Tony Award. The Broadway production was taped in front of a live audience for an HBO special that aired in April 2014, garnering four Emmy Nominations and a fall DVD release.
He lives in Los Angeles and New York with Janice, his wife of 46 years.