BILLY CRYSTAL (Sammy) has created one of the most versatile
and prolific careers in the entertainment industry, finding success
both in front of the camera as a performer in film and television
and behind the scenes as a writer, director and producer. This
Long Island native grew up surrounded by music, as his family
owned and operated the legendary Commodore label and record store,
and his father produced concerts by several of the era's great
jazz performers. Before reaching college age, Crystal had shown
a knack for standup comedy that he later parlayed into a
varied stage act that incorporated his gifts for mimicry and satire,
as well as creating characters (many based on family members and
persons he befriended through the family business). After enjoying
early acceptance as a live comic, he branched into acting in television
as a regular on the popular series "Soap" playing the
first openly gay character on a network television series. During
the 198485 television series, the comedian met with phenomenal
national success on the legendary late night series "Saturday
Night Live." Along with fellow performers such as Christopher
Guest and Martin Short, Crystal created many memorable characters
and catch lines such as Fernando and "You Look Mahvelous"
or Willie the Masochist who hurt himself and then claimed, "I
hate when that happens," as well as the classic imitation
of Sammy Davis, Jr.
In recent years, he has moved between success on television and
film. He created, wrote and produced the critically acclaimed
HBO series "Sessions," and became the first comedian
to perform in the then Soviet Union with his special "Midnight
Train to Moscow. " He hosted the Grammy Awards three times
and, of course, the Oscars four times. During this period, he
starred in "Running Scared" with Gregory Hines, "Throw
Momma from the Train" with Danny DeVito, "Memories of
Me," "The Princess Bride," "When Harry Met
Sally," "City Slickers I and II" which he also
created and executive produced, and "Mr. Saturday Night"
which he also directed. More recently, he directed and starred
opposite Debra Winger in "Forget Paris," and appeared
in "Hamlet" directed by Kenneth Branagh, "reconstructing
Harry" directed by Woody Allen, and the comedy "Father's
Day" starring opposite Robin Williams.
A dedicated human rights advocate, Crystal has cohosted
with Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg, all seven "Comic
Relief' telethons on HBO which have brought the plight of the
nation's homeless to the public and raised over thirtyfive
million dollars for housing and medical care for the needy people.
Crystal has won 5 Emmy Awards, 6 American Comedy Awards and 7
Cable Ace Awards, which pleased him the most, because they are
all in different categories, as host, a comic, a writer, a producer
and a director. With all of this, he is proud to say his greatest
accomplishments are his marriage to Janice, which celebrates its
28th anniversary this year, and his two daughters Jennifer and
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