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 stand-up comedian, an actor in film and television, and behind the scenes as a writer, director, and producer. After touring with such stars as Billy Joel, Barry Manilow, and Neil Sedaka, he became a regular on the popular sitcom Soap, playing the first openly gay character on a network television series. During the 1984–85 television seasons, Billy met with phenomenal national success on Saturday Night Live, earning his first Emmy nomination. 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 the Oscars eight times.
In film, he starred in Running Scared; Throw Momma from the Train; The Princess Bride; When Harry Met Sally (Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy); City Slickers; Mr. Saturday Night (Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy); Forget Paris; Hamlet; Deconstructing Harry; Analyze This; Analyze That; Monsters, Inc.; America’s Sweethearts; and Parental Guidance.
Crystal’s film 61* for HBO films showcased Billy as both director and executive producer. It garnered 12 Emmy nominations, including nods for Best Director and Best Made for Television Movie and also earned him a prestigious Director’s Guild nomination. The script for 61* was recently accepted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Crystal made his Broadway debut in 2004 with 700 Sundays, an autobiographical one-man play. It opened to rave reviews and broke box office records, becoming the highest-grossing non-musical in the history of Broadway, and garnered Crystal the Tony, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the prestigious Drama Desk Award. There have been two sold out national tours of the play and a tour of Australia which earned him the Australian “Tony” as well. In October 2005, he adapted 700 Sundays into a book which joined Crystal’s two children’s books, I Already Know I Love You and Grandpa's Little One, on the New York Times' bestsellers list.
A dedicated human rights advocate, he has co-hosted with Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg in all eight Comic Relief telethons on HBO, which have brought the plight of the nation’s homeless to the public and raised over $40 million for housing and medical care for these needy people. Crystal has won six Emmy Awards, six American Comedy Awards, seven Cable Ace Awards, and the People's Choice Award for City Slickers. He was honored with the 2007 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
He has been married for 40 years to Janice, with whom he has two daughters, Jennifer and Lindsay, two granddaughters, Ella and Dylan, and a grandson, Hudson.