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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 Lindsay.


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