Billy Crystal Turns 75: See What This ‘City Slicker’ Has Been Up To

Billy Crystal turns 75
Everett Collection

Comedic great Billy Crystal, who turns 75 years old on March 14, has starred in iconic movies such as When Harry Met Sally and The Princess Bride. While he has truly become one of the most popular actors of all time, it seems he has been pretty quiet in the last decade or so. After being a cast member on Saturday Night Live in the ’80s, he went back to his roots in 2015 for a sketch comedy show called The Comedians with Josh Gad, which unfortunately did not do well in ratings. Since then, he’s made smaller appearances in shows and most recently is doing some voice work for Monsters at Work, the series based on the animated film Monsters, Inc.

So, why has he been relatively quiet lately? Crystal admitted that as he aged, the roles seemingly dried up. He explained, “When you get to a certain age, they — hmmm — hesitate a bit. They’re not sure there’s an audience. I said, ‘There’s 77 million people wanting a story for them..’ It’s not easy to go through that when you can’t get the girl anymore. You can, but usually you both die.” He said that there was a “period where I didn’t make a movie for 10 years — a lot of it by my choice, and a lot of it by studios’ choice.”

Comedian Billy Crystal turns 75

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY..., Billy Crystal, 1989

Columbia/Everett Collection

Some of his choices came down to his family, which includes his wife Janice, and his daughters, Jennifer and Lindsay. He’s now a grandparent and wants to spend as much time with his family as he can, which often means turning down certain roles or projects. While he is a doting family man, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t make mistakes, especially with the changing culture. In 2012, he hosted the Oscars, a role with which he became very familiar. However, he struggled with controversy after appearing as Sammy Davis Jr., a nod to one of his SNL sketches. Crystal’s use of blackface did not bode well for him and his ongoing career.


Everett Collection

However, a year later, he brought back his Tony-winning one-man show called 700 Sundays back to Broadway and received an overall welcoming reception. The show is based on the Sundays Crystal spent with his father before he died when Crystal was just 15 years old. A decade ago, Crystal said about the show, “It’s the 50th anniversary of his death and I turned 65 this year. So I thought it was a good time to come back to New York with the show.” He once shared that the Broadway show was the “most satisfying experience of my career.”

THE COMEDIANS, l-r: Billy Crystal, Billy Crystal, 'Pilot' (Season 1, Episode 1, aired April 9, 2015)

Ray Mickshaw/FX/Everett Collection

During the years that Crystal did not focus on Hollywood, he turned his attention to writing. He’s now written nine books including Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? and children’s books including I Already Know I Love You and Grandpa’s Little One. Still Foolin’ Em is a memoir of sorts, with some comedy thrown in. Would you expect anything less? Several years later between 2016 and 2017, Crystal toured in Australia and the United States with his show Spend the Night with Billy Crystal. It was not just a stand-up comedy show but a stage show featuring some other famous faces including Bonnie Hunt. He said he hoped it was like fans having dinner with him, hearing stories, and making jokes.

Let’s send a big Happy “Marvelous” Birthday to Billy Crystal as he turns 75… we can’t wait to see what he does next!

’80s Where Are They Now
Want More?

’80s Where Are They Now

March 2023

Who can forget all the great TV shows, movies and music of the ‘80s? See what your favs are up to now!

Buy This Issue