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Mark Twain Caricature The Tenth Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize celebrating Billy Crystal
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Recipient Billy Crystal
All-Star Cast
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The All-Star Cast


Billy Crystal was joined by an all-star cast of actors, performers and musicians.

Bob Costas

Robert De Niro

Danny DeVito

Jimmy Fallon

Whoopi Goldberg

Jon Lovitz

Rob Reiner

Martin Short

Barbara Walters

Robin Williams

Bob Costas
Bob Costas
Photo: Scott Suchman

With the advent of NBC's Football Night In America, Bob Costas adds another chapter to his long and diverse career in sports television. Costas has hosted the primetime Sunday night broadcast of top NFL games, including playoff games each season, and two super bowls over six years. Bob has been with NBC sports since 1979, and has also hosted HBO sports and entertainment programs since 2001. He has covered every major sport, but is perhaps most identified with the Olympics and baseball. He anchored NBC's primetime coverage of the last four summer Olympics - Barcelona in 1992; Atlanta in 1996; Sydney, Australia in 2000; and Athens, Greece in 2004. He also hosted the winter games in Salt Lake City in 2002 and Torino, Italy in 2006. Bob's first Olympic experience came in Seoul, Korea in 1988, where he served as the latenight host. He is scheduled to host NBC's coverage of the 2008 Beijing summer Olympics, the 2010 Vancouver winter games, and the 2012 London summer games.

Costas has won 19 Emmy Awards - 15 for outstanding sports host or play-byplay, two for writing, one for his late night interview show, Later....With Bob Costas, and one for feature reporting. Uniquely, Bob has been nominated for Emmys in five different categories: play-by-play, hosting, writing, interviewing (for Later....With Bob Costas), and journalism.

Costas has been named National Sportscaster of the Year an unprecedented eight times by his peers: in 1985, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1997, and 2000.

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Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Photo: Scott Suchman

Robert De Niro launched his prolific motion picture career in Brian De Palma's The Wedding Party in 1969. By 1973 De Niro had twice won the New York Film Critics' Award for Best Supporting Actor in recognition of his acclaimed performances in Bang the Drum Slowly and Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets. In 1974 De Niro received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the young Vito Corleone in The Godfather, Part II. In 1980 he won his second Oscar, as Best Actor, for his extraordinary portrayal of Jake La Motta in Scorsese's Raging Bull. De Niro has earned Academy Award nominations in four additional films: as Travis Bickle in Scorsese's Taxi Driver, as a Vietnam vet in Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter, as a catatonic patient brought to life in Penny Marshall's Awakenings, and in 1992 as Max Cady, an ex-con looking for revenge, in Scorsese's remake of the 1962 classic Cape Fear. De Niro's distinguished body of work also includes performances in The Last Tycoon; Once Upon a Time in America; King of Comedy; New York, New York; Goodfellas; Casino; The Mission; The Untouchables; Awakenings; Backdraft; Sleepers; Wag the Dog; Marvin's Room; The Fan; Great Expectations; Jackie Brown; Ronin; Analyze This; Analyze That; Flawless; Meet The Parents; and Men of Honor. His most recent works are Shark Tale, Meet the Fockers, and Stardust. De Niro takes pride in the development of his production company, Tribeca Productions, the Tribeca Film Center, which he founded with Jane Rosenthal in 1988, and in the Tribeca Film Festival, which he founded with Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2002 as a response to the 9/11 attacks. The festival was conceived to foster the economic and cultural revitalization of Lower Manhattan through an annual celebration of film, music, and culture and to promote New York City as a major filmmaking center.

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Danny DeVito
Danny DeVito
Photo: Scott Suchman

Danny DeVito has been called one of the entertainment industry's most versatile players for his work as an actor, producer, and director.

He wrote, directed and produced several short films in his early Hollywood years before emerging as a feature-length filmmaker. His trademark films have darker comedic themes; among his directorial credits are The Ratings Game, Throw Momma From the Train, The War of the Roses, Hoffa, Matilda, Death to Smoochy, and Duplex.

This past summer DeVito shot Sam Harper's No Place Like Home for Capacity Pictures. He will be seen this fall in the third season of the acclaimed comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

DeVito became a principal of Jersey Films in 1992, and then of Jersey Television. Jersey has produced over 20 motion pictures, including Freedom Writers, Be Cool, Garden State, Along Came Polly, Erin Brockovich, Man on the Moon, Pulp Fiction, Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Hoffa, Matilda, and Living Out Loud.

It was the part of Louie De Palma that propelled him into national prominence as star of the hit television show Taxi. In a 1999 readers' poll conducted by TV Guide, DeVito's Louie De Palma was voted number one in "TV's 50 Greatest Character's Ever."

Apart from his work with Jersey, DeVito has starred in films such as Anything Else, Big Fish, Renaissance Man, The Big Kahuna, and Heist. He recently starred in The Good Night, Deck the Halls, Relative Strangers, The OH in Ohio, Be Cool, Nobel Son, and Even Money.

Following Taxi and before the creation of Jersey Films, DeVito starred in many films including Junior, Batman Returns, Twins, Romancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile, Ruthless People, and Tin Men.

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Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Fallon
Photo: Scott Suchman

Since beginning his career on NBC's perennial late night hit Saturday Night Live in 1998, Jimmy Fallon has appeared in an impressive number of television shows and feature films, working with celebrated directors such as Cameron Crowe, Woody Allen, and the Farrelly brothers.

Jimmy first showed an interest in performing at the age of two, developing a mini-repertoire of impressions that included James Cagney and Don Ho. Impressions would take him all the way to Saturday Night Live in 1998 where Jimmy became one of the show's youngest cast members at the age of 23. During his sixyear stint on SNL, Jimmy became an audience favorite for his dead-on impressions and his quick wit as the host of the popular "Weekend Update" newscasts.

Jimmy co-hosted the MTV Movie Awards with Kirsten Dunst in 2001, and hosted the MTV Video Music Awards the following year. He also hosted the 2005 MTV Movie Awards.

Jimmy made his feature film debut in Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous in 2000, and in 2003 he worked with Woody Allen in the film Anything Else. In 2004 he starred with Queen Latifah in Taxi, which he followed up with the romantic comedy Fever Pitch. He can currently be seen in the Weinstein Company's Factory Girl, alongside Sienna Miller and Guy Pearce. Next month he will begin shooting the title role of Eliott Rockett. He is also developing an untitled comedy at Universal with Tom Shadyac.

In addition to his television and film work, Jimmy was nominated for a 2003 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Comedy Album for his record The Bathroom Wall. Jimmy and his sister Gloria co-wrote the book I Hate This Place: The Pessimist's Guide to Life, which was published in 2003 by Warner Books. Jimmy's children's book, Snowball Fight, was released in 2005 by the Penguin Group. He is currently at work on his second comedy album.

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Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg
Photo: Scott Suchman

In 2002, Whoopi Goldberg became one of a very elite group of artists who have won the Grammy (Whoopi Goldberg, 1985), the Academy Award (Ghost, 1991), the Golden Globe (The Color Purple, 1985 and Ghost, 1991), the Emmy (as host of AMC's Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel, 2002), and a Tony (Producer of Thoroughly Modern Millie, 2002). She is equally well-known for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of children, the homeless, human rights, education, substance abuse, and the battle against AIDS, as well as many other causes and charities. Among her many charitable activities, Whoopi is a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations.

Whoopi made her motion picture debut in Steven Spielberg's film version of Alice Walker's The Color Purple, for which she earned an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award. Her performance in Ghost earned her the Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. Whoopi has also appeared in such films as Jumpin' Jack Flash, Clara's Heart, The Long Walk Home, Soapdish, The Player, Sarafina!, Sister Act, Made in America, Corrina, Corrina, Boys on the Side, Eddie, The Associate, Ghosts of Mississippi, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Girl, Interrupted, Kingdom Come, and Rat Race. She has voiced characters in such animated features as The Lion King, Racing Stripes, Doogal, and Everyone's Hero.

Whoopi has appeared on many television series and specials, including her own HBO specials, was the three-time host of ABC's A Gala for the President at Ford's Theatre, and appeared on eight Comic Relief telecasts with Billy Crystal and Robin Williams. Whoopi received Emmy Award nominations for hosting the 66th, 68th, and 71st Academy Awards telecasts and returned to host the 2002 telecast at the new Kodak Theatre.

In addition to the Oscar, the Grammy, and two Golden Globe Awards, Whoopi has been honored with multiple NAACP Image Awards, numerous People's Choice Awards (including a special tribute in 1998), and five Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards as Favorite Movie Actress, as well as various awards and honors for her many humanitarian efforts.

Whoopi was the 2001 recipient of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

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Jon Lovitz
Jon Lovitz
Photo: Scott Suchman

For the last 20 years, Jon Lovitz has been one of the best known comedians in the universe...well, according to his cats. After working with the famous improve and comedy group, The Groundings, Jon received the big break of his career (with the recommendations of Larraine Newman and Charles Grodin), Saturday Night Live.

He was nominated for an Emmy his first two years on Saturday Night Live. He became known for many characters, including "Tommy Flanagan of Pathological Liars Anonymous" ("Yeah, that's the ticket!"), "Master Thespian," "Hanukkah Harry," and "the Devil." He has appeared in over 30 movies, including Big, A League of Their Own, The Wedding Singer, High School High, Small Time Crooks, and Rat Race. He has worked with some of the best comedy directors, including Penny Marshall, Rob Reiner, Jerry Zucker, and the man who influenced Jon to be a comedian in the first place (when Jon was 13), Woody Allen.

Jon has become well known for his distinctive voice. He was the lead voice of the character "Jay Sherman" in the acclaimed cult cartoon serie, The Critic and has done voice-overs for many other animated features (An American Tale: Fievel Goes West, Cats and Dogs, Eight Crazy Nights, etc.). He has also worked on The Simpsons many times, including creating the character of Marge Simpson's boyfriend, "Artie Ziff."

He has appeared on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre in Neil Simon's play The Dinner Party, taking over the lead role from Henry Winkler. He has sung (yes, he can sing!) at Carnegie Hall three times (including Great Performances: Ira Gershwin at 100: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall) and sung the National Anthem at Dodger Stadium and the U.S. Open. He has also sung with the English rock star Robbie Williams at the Royal Albert Hall and appears on his album, Swing When You're Winning!

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Rob Reiner
Rob Reiner
Photo: Scott Suchman

Rob Reiner has directed some of the most popular and influential motion pictures of the past two decades, deftly moving among many styles. He has created films that win both audience enthusiasm and critical acclaim.

The versatile filmmaker has been immersed in the entertainment business for much of his life, succeeding first as an actor, then as a director and producer. Prior to his directorial debut, Reiner acted in many television and feature productions. It was, however, his Emmy Award-winning work as the son-in-law of Archie Bunker in the hit series All in the Family that made him a household name.

Reiner's credits as a director of feature films include, among others, the now-legendary This is Spinal Tap, a parody documentary about a mythical heavy metal group; Stand By Me, about four boys coming of age in the '50s, for which he received Best Director nominations from the Directors Guild of America and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association; and the much loved fantasy The Princess Bride, adapted for the screen by Academy Award winner William Goldman from his original novel.

Reiner is a principal and co-founder of Castle Rock Entertainment, and under that banner produced and directed When Harry Met Sally... (Directors Guild nomination), Misery, A Few Good Men (Directors Guild nomination and Academy Award nomination for Best Picture), The American President, and Ghosts of Mississippi. His recent films include The Story of Us, Alex & Emma, Rumor Has It..., and the upcoming The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.

In 1997 Reiner and his wife Michele Singer Reiner founded the I Am Your Child Foundation, now Parents' Action for Children (www.parentsaction.org), a national non-profit promoting early childhood development and providing parents with quality educational materials.

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Martin Short
Martin Short
Photo: Scott Suchman

Born in Ontario, Canada, Martin Short began his career on Canada's SCTV Comedy Network, where his work garnered an Emmy Award. Short's proven ability as a comedic chameleon and his host of hilarious impressions brought him to the attention of Saturday Night Live. After only one season, Short was instantly recognized for his standout performances and on-the-mark impressions of such characters as Ed Grimley, Jackie Rogers Jr., legendary songwriter Irving Cohen, and lawyer Nathan Thurm.

Short made his big screen debut in Three Amigos where he worked alongside former Saturday Night Live colleagues Chevy Chase and Steve Martin. Over the years he has continued to land plum comedic roles in theatrical releases such as Inner Space, Tim Burton's Mars Attacks, Jungle to Jungle, and The Big Picture, among others. Perhaps his most memorable role was that of the scene-stealing Franck the wedding planner in Father of the Bride. He later reprised the hilarious portrayal for Father of the Bride II.

Short has also written, produced, and starred in three highly acclaimed comedy specials for television. For these efforts, which included Martin Short's Concert for the North Americas for Showtime, I, Martin Short, Goes Hollywood for NBC, and The Show Formerly Known As The Martin Short Show for NBC, he won two Cable Ace Awards and an Emmy Award, respectively.

In 2001 Marty created and starred in Primetime Glick for Comedy Central. In its third and final season the show garnered an Emmy nomination for Best Performer in a Muscial, Comedy, or Variety Show. In August 2006 Martin starred in Fame Becomes Me, A Musical Comedy, on Broadway.

In 1994, Short was awarded the "Order of Canada" (the Canadian equivalent to British Knighthood) for his contribution to Canadian culture and was inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame in June 2000.

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Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters
Photo: Scott Suchman

Barbara Walters has arguably interviewed more statesmen and stars than any other journalist in history. She is so well known that her name and a brief biography are listed in the American Heritage Dictionary.

In September 2004, after 25 years as co-host and chief correspondent of ABC News' 20/20, Ms. Walters left the show to begin a new phase in her career at the network. She remains an active member of the news division and network, substantially increasing the number of primetime ABC News specials, in addition to her Barbara Walters Specials. Ms. Walters joined ABC News in 1976 as the first woman to co-host the network news.

Through the years she has interviewed such world figures as Russia's Boris Yeltsin, China's Premier Jiang Zemin, Great Britain's former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Libya's Moammar Qadaffi, and Iraq's President Saddam Hussein. She was also the first American journalist to interview Russia's President Vladimir Putin and the first interview with President and Mrs. Bush following September 11.

The Barbara Walters Specials are continuously the top-rated specials of the year. Ms. Walters' The 10 Most Fascinating People special broadcast, launched in 1993, offers a year-end review of the most prominent newsmakers of the year, as well as the selection of the "most fascinating" individual.

Ms. Walters is also co-owner, co-executive producer, and co-host of The View, recipient of the 2003 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show.

Prior to joining ABC she appeared on NBC's Today Show for 15 years. She began as a writer on the Today Show, and within a year became a reporter-at-large, developing, writing, and editing her own reports and interviews. In 1963 she became a cohost of the program without the official title, but in 1974 NBC officially designated her as the program's first female co-host.

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Robin Williams
Robin Williams
Photo: Scott Suchman

An Academy Award-winning actor and a multiple Grammy-winning performer unparalleled in the scope of his imagination, Robin Williams continues to add to his repertoire of indelible characters.

In 1997 Williams received Academy and Screen Actors Guild Awards for his performance as Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting. The Academy previously nominated Williams for best actor in The Fisher King, Dead Poets Society, and Good Morning Vietnam. In 2004 Williams received the prestigious Career Achievement Award from the Chicago International Film Festival and, in 2005, the HFPA honored him with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.

Williams' filmography includes a number of blockbusters, such as Mrs. Doubtfire, The Birdcage, for which the cast won a SAG ensemble award, Hook, Patch Adams, Flubber, and Night at the Museum.

In October 2007 Williams will appear in Kirsten Sheridan's August Rush as caretaker to a musically gifted orphan portrayed by Freddie Highmore. He is currently in production on Walt Becker's comedy Old Dogs opposite John Travolta.

Robin Williams first captured the attention of the world as Mork from Ork on the hit series Mork & Mindy. Born in Chicago and raised in Michigan and California, he trained at New York's Juilliard School under John Houseman. Williams made his cinematic debut as the title character in Robert Altman's Popeye.

Williams, who began his career as a stand-up comedian, is well known for his free-associative monologues and for pointing out life's absurdities through his astute social and political observations.

Offstage, Williams is, perhaps, best known philanthropically for his affiliation with Comic Relief, which was founded in 1986 as a non-profit organization to help America's homeless. To date, the overall efforts of the Comic Relief organization have raised over $50 million.

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