Billy Crystal Believes ‘When Harry Met Sally’ is One of His Most Memorable Films

When Harry Met Sally Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, 1989
Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection

Billy Crystal is feeling the love. He is one of the new Kennedy Center Honorees, along with Renée Fleming, Barry Gibb, Queen Latifah, and Dionne Warwick. As he receives the prestigious honor, he is looking back on his decades-long career including one of his favorite movies to film: When Harry Met Sally.

Crystal began his career in the ’70s, working toward a career as a comedian. He was cut from NBC’s Saturday Night (now Saturday Night Live) right before it started and he admitted that it took him a while to become confident again. One of his big breaks came when he was cast alongside Meg Ryan in the late ’80s rom-com When Harry Met Sally.

He shared that he is very grateful for director Rob Reiner, who allowed him to improvise and have fun while filming. During the interview with CBS Mornings, Crystal went back to Katz’s Deli for the first time since filming the 1989 movie. Now, the restaurant has a sign pointing to the table where Harry and Sally sat and thousands come to visit just to recreate the hilarious scene.

When Harry Met Sally Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, 1989 Katz's Deli

Columbia/Everett Collection

Crystal added that he believes the film is so memorable because while some of it feels outdated, the message is timeless. He explained, “It’s actually more important as time goes by, because people fall in love everyday. People fall out of love everyday. People find each other, they lose each other every day. And new generations keep finding ‘When Harry Met Sally…’ They keep discovering it, and we’re forever young in that movie. And we represent them. They relate to us.”

Billy Crystal attends the 46th Kennedy Center Honors at The Kennedy Center on December 03, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Not only is Crystal looking back fondly on his career but the family he helped to build with his wife Janice Goldfinger. He said about the ceremony, “This is what I felt, because looking, I’m wearing the (Kennedy Center Honors) medallion at the dinner. They just put it around your neck. And now, officially being this person, you’re an honoree. And I look out and there’s my two beautiful daughters, Jenny and Lindsay. I always wanted them to know that if I had to be away it was because I was doing what I had to do, and something that made me happy, and that the lesson for your life is whatever you’re doing, be happy in what you’re doing.”

February 2021
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February 2021

1990s Rom-Coms

Pop some popcorn and cozy up to feel-good movies and TV shows from a generation ago.

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