Actor/comedian Billy Crystal sank his hands and feet into cement in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood Friday, joining the list of entertainment-industry luminaries enshrined at the famed venue.
“This really means a great deal to me, I don’t take this lightly at all,” Crystal told the crowd gathered for the ceremony. “I take this to my heart.”
The 71-year-old native New Yorker was honored as part of the TCM Classic Film Festival sponsored by Turner Classic Movies. The event coincided with the 30th anniversary of the iconic romantic comedy “When Harry Met Sally …,” which was screened Thursday night as part of the festival.
Crystal took part in a discussion at the screening, joined by co-star Meg Ryan and director Rob Reiner. Reiner was also among those on hand Friday for the hand-and-footprint ceremony.
Crystal gained fame for his work on television, notably for his work on the ABC comedy “Soap.” One of his first TV appearances was on “All in the Family” in 1976, when he began his decades-long friendship with Reiner — contributing to his later appearances in the films “This is Spinal Tap” and “The Princess Bride.”
A former “Saturday Night Live” cast member, Crystal’s other film credits include “Throw Momma from the Train,” “City Slickers,” “Analyze This” and “61*,” a film he also directed. Crystal also provides the voice of sympathetic monster Mike in the animated “Monsters, Inc.” franchise.
Crystal is also known for his work hosting the Academy Awards, a ceremony he helmed nine times. He is remembered for his opening musical montages, in which he would appear in comedic clips from each year’s best-picture nominees.
Crystal said during the Chinese Theatre ceremony that he started in comedy with his brothers Rip and Joel.
“You start doing this and I know it’s the same for almost all funny people, … make your parents laugh. You try to make your parents laugh and that laugh becomes this delicious drink that I was always thirsty for,” he said. “And all these years later I think of the times that we performed, Rip, and dreamed about something like this happening. Never would have imagined that it could happen for me.”