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Billy Crystal came to fame on the sitcom Soap. After a year on Saturday Night Live, he began a successful film career.
Whoopi Goldberg has always been politically active and from 1986-1998 she and fellow comedians Robin Williams and Billy Crystal hosted the Comic Relief benefits for the homeless.
Actor and comedian Robin Williams caught his first big break when he auditioned for the role of Mork on Happy Days. That one appearance would eventually land the actor with his own spin off show, "Mork & Mindy."
In 1955 actor and comedian Steve Martin moved to the suburbs outside Los Angeles where he was just moments away from Disneyland where he would work for many years growing up.
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Crystal scored again two years later with City Slickers (1991). This time, he played an urban middle-aged man who travels with two friends to the West to participate in a cattle drive. The film followed their fish-out-of-water misadventures, and their encounters with a tough trail boss, played by Jack Palance.
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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. "I love being 'captain of show business' for one night a year, but it is hard to keep doing it better," Crystal once told Time magazine. Over the years, he won five Emmy Awards for his work on the Academy Awards ceremony.
Known for his likeable personality and soft-edged humor, Crystal delved into darker territory with Mr. Saturday Night (1992). He played a bitter, aging comic named Buddy Young in the film. While it was a box office disappointment, the project remains one of Crystal's favorites. He not only starred in the film, but wrote and directed it as well. Reuniting with Palance, Crystal found greater commercial success with City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994). He also served as a writer and producer for the project.
Later in the 1990s, Crystal went to work with director Woody Allen on the comedy Deconstructing Harry (1997). He scored another big hit with Analyze This (1999), 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.
Around this time, Crystal returned to his love of baseball to direct the television movie 61*. The movie tells the story about the 1961 race between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle to break Babe Ruth's home run record. "This movie, quite honestly, connected me with my father in the best possible way," Crystal told reporters, reminding him of all the games the two had enjoyed together. Crystal was a fan of Mantle's, and even befriended the baseball legend in his later years, which added an extra challenge to the film. "I would have to say and do things in the movie that were real and honest. It's one thing for older Mickey, when he was alive, to say, 'Yeah, I drank and I fooled around,' but when you see young, vital, handsome Mickey actually doing it ... But it's very important for the story." His hard work and commitment to candor paid off. Crystal received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Mini-series, Movie or a Special, and the project received a nomination for Outstanding Made for Television Movie.
Continuing to work off-camera, Crystal put his talent for creating interesting voices to use in animated films. He handled one of the lead characters in Monsters, Inc. (2001) as well as a small part in Cars (2006). Crystal also branched out in another direction—as a children's author. He wrote I Already Know I Love You (2004) shortly after the birth of his first grandchild.
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Learn more about the cast of Saturday Night Live, including old-timers such as John Belushi, Billy Crystal, Jane Curtin, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy and David Spade, as well as newer stars of the series, including Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis and Seth Meyers.
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