Billy Crystal Set For Lifetime Achievement Honor At Critics Choice Awards

Billy Crystal, whose multi-faceted career covers movies, TV, Broadway, books, stand- up comedy, directing, producting and writing in all mediums — not to mention hosting the Oscars nine times — will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 27th annual Critics Choice Awards on March 13 at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel.

It will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. ET on TBS and The CW and tape-delayed in the West.

Crystal, a Tony and Emmy winner is currently prepping his Broadway return in his first musical comedy, an adaptation of his 1992 film Mr. Saturday Night which is set to open on April 27.

He joins Lauren Bacall, Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Eddie Murphy, Robert Wise as the only past Life Achievement honorees in the organization’s 27 year history. As previously announced, Halle Berry will receive the sixth annual SeeHer Award during the ceremony.

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Crystal’s many feature film credits include the buddy cop comedy Running Scared (1986), Rob Reiner’s comic fairy tale The Princess Bride (1987), and Danny DeVito’s dark comedy Throw Momma from the Train (1987). But his breakthrough role came in 1989 when he starred opposite Meg Ryan in Reiner’s When Harry Met Sally…, which became a romantic touchstone for a generation of moviegoers. Other films include America’s Sweethearts (2001), starring opposite Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei in the 2012 Christmas family comedy Parental Guidance, which he also produced. In addition, he is the voice of one-eyed Mike Wazowski in Disney•Pixar’s animated global blockbuster  Monsters, Inc. (2001), its prequel Monsters University (2013), and the Disney+ television series Monsters at Work, now in production for its second season. Crystal’s latest work includes the friendship comedy Standing Up, Falling Down (2020), and his most recent feature Here Today (2021), which Crystal co wrote, directed, produced, and starred in opposite Tiffany Haddish.

He landed his first major television role in 1977 on the comedy series Soap, playing Jodie Dallas, one of the first openly gay characters on TV. In 1984 he hosted Saturday Night Live and a few months later joined the regular cast. His best-known SNL creation was Fernando, an unctuous talk-show host whose tagline, “You look mahvelous!” entered the popular lexicon.

As a director, Crystal was nominated for both an Emmy and a Directors Guild Award for his direction of the 2001 HBO movie 61*, which told the dramatic story of the 1961 race between Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris to break Babe Ruth’s single-season home-run record.

In addition to hosting the Oscars nine times—most recently in 2012—Crystal has also hosted the GRAMMY Awards three times. His work as a host, writer, and producer on the televised awards shows has earned him 14 Emmy nominations and five wins. Crystal won a sixth Emmy for his 1989 HBO comedy special, Billy Crystal: Midnight Train to Moscow in which he was the first American comedian to perform in the Soviet Union. Other HBO specials include On Location, A Comic’s Line, and Don’t Get Me Started. Along with Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams, Crystal hosted HBO’s Comic Relief. These comedic telethons raised almost $75 million to provide medical aid for the homeless in America.

The recipient of the 2007 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Crystal has written five books, including Absolutely Mahvelous (1986), 700 Sundays (2005) and Still Foolin’ ‘Em (2014), as well as two children’s books, the New York Times best seller I Already Know I Love You (2004) and Grandpa’s Little One (2006).

Crystal co-wrote, produced, and starred alongside Kevin Kline and Annette Bening in Have a Nice Day, a play that was recorded live at The Minetta Lane Theatre. It was released on Audible on November 2, 2018 and became an instant best-seller. In his 2013 New York Times best-selling memoir Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? Crystal offers his heartfelt and humorous observations on aging. The audiobook version debuted at number one on iTunes and was nominated for a Grammy Award for the Best Spoken Word Album and won the Audiobook of the Year at the 2014 Audies Gala.

Crystal made his Broadway debut in 2004 with the original production of his one-man show 700 Sundays, for which he won a Tony Award. The Broadway production was taped in front of a live audience for an HBO special that aired in April of 2014, which garnered four Emmy nominations and was released on DVD that fall.

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