(Ben Sobol) has created one of the most versatile and remarkable
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. The 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 some of the era's great jazz performers.
Before reaching college, Crystal had shown a knack for stand-up
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 out
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 1984-85 television season, the comedian met
with phenomenal national success on the legendary late night series
"Saturday Night Live," creating several memorable characters,
such as Fernando and Willie the Masochist, and performing a classic
imitation of Sammy Davis, Jr.
Crystal produced the acclaimed HBO series "Sessions,"
and became the first comedian to perform in the Soviet Union with
his special, "Midnight Train to Moscow." He has starred
in the films "Running Scared," "Throw Momma From
the Train," "Memories of Me," "The Princess
Bride," "When Harry Met Sally... ." "City
Slickers" and its sequel "City Slickers II: The legend
of Curley's Gold," which he also created and executive-produced,
and "Mr. Saturday Night," which he also directed.
Crystal directed and starred opposite Debra Winger in "Forget
Paris," and recently appeared in "Hamlet," directed
by Kenneth Branagh in "Deconstructing Harry," directed
by Woody Allen; in the comedy "Fathers' Day," starring
opposite Robin Williams; and in "My Giant," which he
Crystal has hosted the Grammy Awards three times and the Oscar
telecast six times. He has won five Emmy Awards, six American
Comedy Awards, and seven CableACE Awards, which pleased him most,
as they are all in different categories -- host, comic, writer,
producer, director. A dedicated human rights activist, he has
co-hosted with Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg all eight Comic
Relief telethons, the most recent of which occurred during the
filming of "Analyze This."
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