Billy Crystal at the Celebrity Fight Night XXIV in Phoenix, Arizona, March 9, 2018. Photo by Gage Skidmore.
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Billy Crystal
Forecourt Ceremony held on Friday, April 12, 2019
 
Born: March 14, 1948, in New York City, New York
Age at the time of the ceremony: 71
 
Billy Crystal is an amazing talent. A man with dry humor, but endless energy, Crystal has made comedy records, headlined in movies, done stand-up, made a number of HBO comedy specials (winning Emmys while doing so) starred on Broadway, has won a Tony Award, has done philanthropic work, and has even played with the New York Yankees.

Although he was born in Manhattan, the Crystal family moved to Long Beach, Long Island when Billy was a tot. Father Jack was owner of a jazz record store in the city as well as operator of the Commodore Records label. Billy and his older brothers Joel and Richard imitated the comedy records brought home from the record shop. The Crystal home was visited by most of the great names in jazz of the period.

The record store folded in 1963, with Billy's father suffering a fatal heart attack in the same year. After graduating from high school in 1965, Crystal attended Marshall University on a baseball scholarship, but the baseball program was scuttled that year. Moving to New York, Crystal studied acting at the HB Studio in the Village, and studied film at New York University, where an instructor was Martin Scorsese; fellow students were Oliver Stone and Christopher Guest.

Crystal began doing stand-up at The Improv and Catch a Rising Star in NYC, leading to him being a regular on the four episodes of the summer replacement series Keep on Truckin' aired over ABC in 1975. A friendship with actor Rob Reiner led to Crystal getting a small part as Al Bender in an episode of All in the Family aired over CBS in January 1976.

Crystal wrote a few episodes of The Love Boat in 1977, then starred as the wolrd's first pregnant man in a film co-written and directed by Joan Rivers called Rabbit Test (released in April 1978) with Joan Prather as the world's first pregnant man's wife.

Crystal played radarman Lieutenant Jacob 'Jake' Beser in Enola Gay: The Men, the Mission, the Atomic Bomb aired over NBC in November 1980, then played one of the first gay characters on television, Jodie Dallas, in 75 episodes of Soap aired over ABC from its debut in September 1977 to his last episode in April 1981.

He starred and wrote his own show, The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour, with John Candy, airing over NBC for five episodes in Janauary 1982, and was a guest star and writer on Saturday Night Live aired over NBC, for 18 episodes, beginning in October 1984.

Crystal played the bit part of Morty the Mime for Rob Reiner's first feature, This Is Spinal Tap (released in March 1984). Then M-G-M paired Crystal with Gregory Hines in the cop comedy Running Scared (released in June 1986).

Crystal played Miracle Max in director Rob Reiner's classic The Princess Bride (released in October 1987) with Cary Elwes, then enjoyed a Christmastime hit with Danny DeVito's comic reworking of Strangers on a Train, Throw Mamma from the Train (released in December 1987).

Also at M-G-M, Crystal starred in, co-produced and co-wrote Memories of Me (which played the Chinese in September 1988) with Alan King. It flopped. But when he starred in another hit for director Rob Reiner, When Harry Met Sally . . . (released in July 1989) with Meg Ryan, Crystal was on the top of his game.

He starred and was executive producer of City Slickers (which had its Premiere and played the Chinese in June 1991) with Daniel Stern, then starred, produced, directed and co-wrote Mr. Saturday Night (released in September 1992) with David Paymer.

Crystal starred, produced and co-wrote City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (released in June 1994) with Jack Palance, then starred, produced, directed and co-wrote Forget Paris (released in May 1995) with Debra Winger.

He played the First Gravedigger in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (released in December 1996), and co-starred in Father's Day (released in May 1997) with Robin Williams. Crystal found himself with another hit by starring and co-executive producing Analyze This (which played the Chinese in March 1999) with Robert De Niro.

He got an even bigger hit by providing the voice for Mike in the totally delightful Pixar movie Monsters, Inc. (released in November 2001) with John Goodman as Sullivan. He starred and was co-executive producer of Analyze That (released in December 2002) again with Robert De Niro. The consensus is that it's not especially good as the first one.

Back in the Pixar fold, he joined the large cast of Cars (released in June 2006) as Mike Car, and did the voice of Mike in the prequel, Monsters University (released in June 2013) with John Goodman.

Crystal developed, was co-executive producer and wrote one episode while appearing as himself in all 13 episodes of The Comedians with Josh Gad, aired over the FX Network in April 2015. He took bit parts in The Comedian (released in February 2017) starring Robert De Niro, and in Untogether (released in February 2019) with Jamie Doran.
 
 
Caption TK
TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX®, Hollywood, California. Billy Crystal Forecourt ceremony. Friday, April 12, 2019. While singing his name, Billy Crystal gives out a grin. A cast of the foot of his Monsters Inc. character Mike Wazowski is at the ready on the left.
 
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