CA (August 2003) --
This February, comedian and entertainer, Billy Crystal
will kick off the festivities for the WSA Shoe Show at its networking
Opening Night Event. The WSA audience will experience an evening
of laughs from this entertainer who 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
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."
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.