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Billy Crystal

Award-winning Actor & Comic; Best Known for "When Harry Met Sally"

Award-winning Actor & Comic; Best Known for "When Harry Met Sally"

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Los Angeles, CA, USA
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Billy Crystal Biography

Award-winning actor and comic Billy Crystal was born William Edward Crystal on March 14, 1948, in Long Beach, New York. Billy Crystal has spent much of his life making people laugh. He grew up the youngest of three boys. A born entertainer, Crystal liked to sing, dance, and act with his brothers for family in their living room. "I was the little Jerry Lewis," he later told the Washington Post.

As a child, Crystal met several famous musicians and performers, including Billie Holiday, through his father, Jack Crystal, who acted as a booking agent for jazz acts. His father also ran the Commodore music store and co-founded the Commodore record label with Crystal's uncle, Milt Gabler. Crystal's father sometimes brought home comedy albums of performers such as Bill Cosby, and the recordings were early influences on the budding comic. His parents also let him stay up to watch such humorous television personalities as Jack Paar and Sid Caesar.

After graduation from college, Crystal worked as a substitute teacher. He also started a comedy group with some friends, but he eventually decided to go it alone as a stand-up comedian.

In 1975, Crystal made his first appearance on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson." He appeared to be a young comedian on the rise.

Two years later, Crystal took the groundbreaking role of Jodie Dallas on the sitcom "Soap." He played one of the first openly gay characters on television.

During a break from "Soap," Crystal filmed his first movie. He starred in "Rabbit Test" in 1978, a comedy about a man who becomes pregnant. The film was co-written and directed by stand-up legend Joan Rivers.

After "Soap" ended in 1981, Crystal landed his own comedy show, "The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour." He also attracted attention with his small role as a mime in the rock music mock-umentary "This Is Spinal Tap," directed by Rob Reiner. That same year, Crystal joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live."

Only on the show for one season, Crystal created several memorable characters, such as swanky television host Fernando Lamas. This character's catchphrase, "You look mahvelous," became part of popular culture. Crystal also did some spot-on impressions, wowing audiences with his take on Howard Cosell and Sammy Davis, Jr. For his work on the show, he received his first Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.

Not long after his stint on "Saturday Night Live," Crystal's career began to take off. He launched the popular televised comedy fundraiser, "Comedy Relief," with Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams in 1986. The show aired annually for 12 years. In perhaps the biggest role of his career, he starred opposite Meg Ryan in the romantic comedy "When Harry Met Sally..." in 1989, which was a box-office hit.

Crystal scored again two years later with "City Slickers." Around this time, Crystal also established himself as the ultimate award show host. He hosted the Grammy Awards in 1988 and the Academy Awards in 1990. Since then, Crystal has hosted the Academy Awards eight more times, most recently in 2012. Over the years, he won five Emmy Awards for his work on the Academy Awards ceremony.

Later in the 1990s, Crystal went to work with director Woody Allen on the comedy "Deconstructing Harry." He scored another big hit with "Analyze This," a comedy about a crime boss (Robert De Niro) who seeks help from a therapist played by Crystal. This humorous odd couple reunited for the 2002 sequel, "Analyze That."

Working off-camera, Crystal directed the baseball-centric television movie"61*." He also voiced one of the lead characters in "Monsters, Inc." as well as a small part in "Cars." Crystal additionally branched out in another direction -- as a children's author. He wrote "I Already Know I Love You" shortly after the birth of his first grandchild.

In December 2004, Crystal brought his most personal work to the Broadway stage. He wrote and performed "700 Sundays," the one-man show that took its title from Crystal's calculations on how much time he got to spend with his father before his death. Filled with family stories and sports references, the show won a Tony Award for special theatrical event in 2005.

In 2006, Crystal reunited with Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg for a special edition of "Comic Relief." The trio brought back the comedy fund-raising event to benefit those affected by Hurricane Katrina. As Crystal told People magazine, "The problems are still out there, and what's cool is we're still there. This is the 'We Still Have Our Own Hips' tour!"

The following year, Crystal became the 10th person to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center. He joined a list of other distinguished comedians, including George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Steve Martin, who have also been awarded this honor.

Continuing with his film career, Crystal plays a grandfather in the 2012 comedy "Parental Guidance," with Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei. He also reprised his role in the animated feature "Monsters University."

In 2013 he released his memoir, "Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?"

Crystal currently lives in California with his wife, Janice.

BOOK Billy Crystal

Speaker profile last updated by AAE Talent Team on 05/20/2024.

Billy Crystal Videos

Billy Crystal Books

  • Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?
    Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?
  • 700 Sundays
    700 Sundays

FAQs on booking Billy Crystal

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    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Billy Crystal for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Billy Crystal, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Billy Crystal or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Billy Crystal

    Speaking fees for Billy Crystal, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Billy Crystal are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Billy Crystal, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Billy Crystal speak about?

    Billy Crystal is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Actors, Authors, Celebrity, Comedians, Entertainers, Entertainment, Faith & Religion, Health, Host Emcee, Jewish Speakers, Literary.
  • Where does Billy Crystal travel from?

    Billy Crystal generally travels from Los Angeles, CA, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Billy Crystal’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Billy Crystal for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Billy Crystal for your next private or corporate function.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Billy Crystal or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Billy Crystal is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Billy Crystal for your event is available upon request. Billy Crystal generally travels from Los Angeles, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Howie Mandel, William Shatner, Jerry Seinfeld, Brad Garrett and Sandra Bernhard. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Billy Crystal for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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