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8 December 2023, 12:06
The 'When Harry Met Sally' actress honoured her co-star with a moving speech.
With tributes pouring in for Crystal from notable figures such as Rob Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jay Leno, it was an appearance from Meg Ryan which really made the evening.
During Ryan's heartfelt tribute, the stage was transformed to recreate the iconic Katz's Delicatessen, providing a playful nod to the memorable scene from When Harry Met Sally...
Meg, 62, shared insights into the creation of the iconic line "I'll have what she's having," now enshrined in the movie quote hall of fame.
She revealed that the nine-time Oscar host, Billy Crystal, was the mastermind behind the memorable line. Moreover, she said that the spontaneous and racy scene was a collaborative effort between the two.
"The scene came really naturally to me, and I really have Billy to thank for that," she joked to the delighted audience, before paying tribute to Crystal's over 50-year marriage to wife Janice Crystal née Goldfinger.
"As his wife Janice has known for over 50 years, falling in love with Billy is a pretty easy thing to do," she said, and was met with 'awwws' from the audience.
When Harry Met Sally (1989) - Clip: I'll Have What She's Having (HD)
"I think about how lucky I've been to start my life the way I did," he shared. "We are the product of our environment, and I was brought home to a house filled with music and the music of American jazz and laughter."
Billy and Janice, high school sweethearts, marked their 53rd wedding anniversary this year. The couple are parents to daughters Jennifer, 50, and Lindsay, 46, and are also now grandparents.
During his speech, Billy Crystal shared insights into his life alongside his wife and two daughters, and expressed heartfelt sentiments about the enduring importance of his family.
"I think about how lucky I've been to start my life the way I did," he shared.
"We are the product of our environment, and I was brought home to a house filled with music and the music of American jazz and laughter.
"The luckiest thing of all is that in 1966, I met a beautiful girl on the beach. I was eighteen, and she was seventeen. Fifty-seven years later, we're married. We started dating during the Johnson administration if that helps at all."
When Harry Met Sally - trailer
"We have two beautiful daughters who are with us tonight, who grew up during my career," he continued.
"None of this happens without the partnership I've shared with Janice over the years. And my two girls are here tonight with their wonderful husbands.
"What I do for a living is joy. But the real work is taking two little infants and watching them become the great women and mothers they are today."
Crystal concluded his heartfelt speech: "And I know they're looking at me right now with this beautiful medallion on my neck.
"You've grown up throughout my career, and I know what you're thinking, 'Who's going to get that when he's gone?' Thank you, Kennedy Center, I toast you!"