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Billy Crystal Take 8

Billy Crystal will host the Academy Awards for the eighth time this February 29 (CTV/ABC), he'll have his lucky charm in his pocket: his childhood's ttothbrush.

Billy Crystal has created one of the most versatile and prolific careers in the entertainment industry, finding success in front of the camera, as a performer in film and television, and behind the scenes as a writer, director and producer.
His family owned and operated the legendary Commodore label and record store, so Crystal grew up in New York surrounded by music and musicians. His father, Jack, produced concerts by the era’s great jazz performers, including the legendary Billie Holliday. It was his exposure to these great stars that helped Crystal develop a knack for stand-up comedy, incorporating his gifts for mimicry and satire, as well as his ability to create enduring characters who are funny, human, and touching.

After touring with such stars as Billy Joel, Barry Manilow, Neil Sedaka and
Sha Na Na, he became a regular on the popular series “Soap” playing the first
openly gay character on a network television series. During the 1984-85 television season, Billy met with phenomenal national success on “Saturday Night Live.”
Along with fellow performers like Christopher Guest and Martin Short, he created many memorable characters and catch lines, including his classic imitation of Sammy Davis, Jr., Fernando (“You look mahvelous!”) or Willie the Masochist, who would hurt himself and then claim, “I hate when that happens.”
In recent years, he has moved between successes 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, one of four one man specials he has done for HBO. He has hosted the Grammy Awards three times and, of course the Oscars seven times.

He has starred in “Running Scared,” “Throw Momma from the Train,”
“The Princess Bride,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “City Slickers I and II,” “Mr.
Saturday Night,” “Forget Paris,” “Hamlet,” “Deconstructing Harry,” “Father’s
Day,” “My Giant,” “Analyze This,” and “America’s Sweethearts”.
Crystal’s film “61*” for HBO films, showcased Billy as both director and
executive producer. Based on the true story of the pursuit of Babe Ruth’s home run record by New York Yankees stars Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, the film starred Thomas Jane as Mickey Mantle and Barry Pepper as Roger Maris. The film
garnered 12 Emmy nominations including nods for “Best Director” and “Best Made
for Television Movie”.
Crystal was most recently seen in his second on-screen collaboration with Robert DeNiro in “Analyze That,” the sequel to their 1999 hit comedy “Analyze This.” Prior to that, Billy lent his voice to the character Mike Wazowski in Disney’s record-breaking, blockbuster animated hit, “Monsters,Inc.” A dedicated human rights advocate, he has co-hosted with Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg, all eight “Comic Relief” telethons on HBO which have brought the plight of the nation’s homeless to the public and raised over forty million dollars for housing and medical care for these needy people. Billy has won six Emmy Awards, six American Comedy Awards and seven Cable Ace Awards.
His professional accomplishments abound but Billy considers his greatest achievements are his 32-year marriage to Janice, and his two daughters, Jennifer and Lindsay.

The Oscar statuettes that will be handed out on Sunday, February 29, at the 76th Academy Awards ceremony are on display at the Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex.


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