Billy Crystal to Host 76th Academy Awards

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Billy Crystal will return to host the 76th Academy Awards on February 29, 2004, telecast producer Joe Roth announced today.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am that Billy will be hosting this show,” said Roth. “He was my first and only choice.”

This will be the eighth year that Crystal has served as host of the presentation. He hosted four consecutive shows beginning in 1990, then returned following a three-year hiatus to host the 69th, 70th and 72nd telecasts.

“Billy’s personality and quick wit are uniquely suited to this 900 pound gorilla of live shows,” Roth said. “He’s proved he can tame it with style and flair. To me, this was the most important element of the show – the rest of the way suddenly feels very comfortable.”

Said Crystal: “When Joe called, I didn’t hesitate. He has such a passion for the show I felt I could have a great time doing it again. It was either this or run for governor.”

Crystal has carved a niche as the viewing audiences’ favorite Oscar show host of recent years, and his performances have been consistent critical successes. He’s won four Emmys for his writing and hosting of the Oscar show, and has received six other Emmy nominations for his contributions. Crystal’s hosting of the Oscars has earned him more Emmy nominations than any other host in history.

The ceremonies honoring 2003 achievements in motion pictures will be held on Sunday, February 29, 2004. The 76th Annual Academy Awards Presentation will be broadcast live from the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland by the ABC Television Network, beginning at 5:30 p.m. (PST), preceded at 5 p.m. by a network arrivals show.

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