William Edward "Billy" Crystal (born March 14, 1948) is an American actor, writer, producer, comedian, and film director. He gained prominence in the 1970s for playing Jodie Dallas on the ABC sitcom Soap and became a Hollywood film star during the late 1980s and 1990s, appearing in the critical and box office successes When Harry Met Sally... and City Slickers. He has hosted the Academy Awards nine times, including the 84th Academy Awards in 2012. Crystal was born in the Doctor's Hospital in Manhattan and raised on Long Island in Long Beach, the son of Helen (née Gabler), a housewife, and Jack Crystal, a record company executive and jazz producer who also owned and operated the Commodore Record store. His babysitter was occasionally Billie Holiday. His uncle was musician and songwriter Milt Gabler, and his brother, Richard "Rip" Crystal, is a television producer. Crystal grew up in a Jewish family that he has described as "large" and "loving". After graduation from Long Beach High School, Crystal attended Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia on a baseball scholarship, having learned the game from his father, who pitched for St. John's University. Crystal never played a game at Marshall because the program was suspended during his freshman year, and because he was too busy being the Editor in Chief of The BG News from 1969–70. He did not return to Marshall as a sophomore, staying back in New York with his future wife. He instead attended Nassau Community College and later New York University, where he graduated in 1970 with a BFA from its Tisch School of the Arts.
William Edward Crystal