Palisadian Billy Crystal Selected as Kennedy Center Honoree

Billy Crystal


Billy Crystal has just added to his long list of honors—in addition to being a co-honorary Pacific Palisades Mayor.

On June 22, he was selected as a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 46th Honoree. He will be joined by singer, actress, rapper Queen Latifah, Bee Gees member Barry Gibb, soprano Renee Fleming and singer Dionne Warwick.

The five will be honored at a national celebration on December 3, with the program hosted by Gloria Estefan.

Seated in the Box Tier of the Kennedy Center Opera House, the Honorees will accept the recognition and gratitude of their peers through performances and tributes. The 46th Kennedy Center Honors Gala will conclude with a dinner in the Grand Foyer.

“This year’s slate represents an extraordinary mix of individuals who have redefined their art forms and demonstrated remarkable tenacity in becoming an original,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter.

Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein said, “The Kennedy Center Honors recognizes artists who have made profound contributions to the cultural life of our nation. A true comedic icon and multi-talented artist since the 1980s who has kept millions laughing around the world, Billy Crystal is responsible for some of the most memorable stand-up moments and hilarious Hollywood scenes in the last half-century.

Crystal said “I am overwhelmed to be part of this fantastic group of artists. I started performing when I was five years old, making my parents and family laugh. Those laughs have carried me my entire life and career.

“I so wish they could be at the Kennedy Center for this glorious occasion. It has been a thrilling lifetime of performing in so many different arenas and my heart is full of gratitude to the Kennedy Center, my wife Janice, my children and grandchildren, our family and friends, and all the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. And finally, of course, my wonderful fans.”

Crystal, an actor, comedian and filmmaker has won Tony and Emmy Awards, and is known for his feature films When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers and Analyze This.

He was a cast member of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, which earned him his first Emmy nomination.

Crystal has hosted the Academy Awards nine times and the Grammy Awards three times and was rewarded with five Emmys for that work. Crystal won his sixth Emmy® for the HBO Comedy Special Billy Crystal: Midnight Train to Moscow.

His latest film work includes the 2020 friendship comedy Standing Up, Falling Down opposite Ben Schwartz and 2021’s Here Today in which Crystal directed, produced, and starred opposite Tiffany Haddish.

Crystal joined Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg to serve as co-host of Comic Relief’s televised fundraising events on HBO. Through specials broadcast between 1986 and 2008, Comic Relief raised $75 million to help supply medical aid to the homeless.

He received the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2007.

In 2022, Crystal returned to Broadway with Mr. Saturday Night, a musical adaptation of the 1992 classic film Mr. Saturday Night, which received rave reviews and five Tony nominations.

Crystal and wife Janice served as Pacific Palisades Co-honorary Mayors from 2018 to 2020, attending everything from Ho!Ho!Ho! to a gardening event at Marquez Elementary to participating in the Palisades 4th of July parade to judging homes for the Home Decorating Contest.

The couple has two daughters, Jennifer and Lindsay, and four grandchildren, Ella, Dylan, Hudson and Griffin.

Pacific Palisades Co-Honorary Mayors Billy and Janice Crystal crowned Anne Lewis,100, as the oldest female attending the 90th Birthday Party.

Billy and Janice Crystal, portrayed George Washington in the 2018 parade. Many wonder what this year’s grand marshal will do.
Photo: Virginia Bustamante Skolnick

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One Response to Palisadian Billy Crystal Selected as Kennedy Center Honoree

  1. Eileen says:

    Well deserved Honor! The Dec 3 show will be wonderful to watch.

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