Only once in a thousand years or so do we get to hear a Mozart or see a Picasso or read a Shakespeare. Ali was one of them, and yet at his heart, he was still a kid from Louisville who ran with the gods and walked with the crippled and smiled at the foolishness of it all.

Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal

Profession: Actor
Nationality: American

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I was a good baseball player. I still play a couple of times a week as part of my daily workout. Just throwing the ball, running around, fielding ground balls, you know. It's better to me than being on a treadmill or some sort of Zumba class.

Change is such hard work.

I was a film-directing major at NYU. I'm still not sure why I became a directing major, when I was really an actor and a comedian, but there was something that drew me to doing that.

In the late 1960s, I was working as an usher for the New York stage production of 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.'

It is great seeing the fruits of your labor. The joy I have in watching my daughters with their kids is great, because they're doing a wonderful job, and the kids are fantastic.

My Aunt Sheila was terrifying! She would put a napkin in her mouth and say, 'You've got something on your face, dear. Let me just scratch that off your face. Let me sand your cheek.'

You really have to have some muscle to be on the stage in front of the world.

Your success is in your point of view. It's your life that you're talking about; it's your observations. That's the best lesson that I ever had.

I never missed a birthday. I never missed a school play. We carpooled. And the greatest compliment I can ever get is not about my career or performance or anything; it's when people say, 'You know, your girls are great.' That's the real thing for me.

When I was growing up in the house, we'd watch the Oscars.

There used to be that you only had four or five critics that you would look to for intelligent conversation, but now there are millions of people who can just press 'send,' and everyone's got an opinion even if no one cares what they say. It makes things a little bit tougher.

My parents always looked like they loved being together. That's what I took from them, and that's how my wife and I are. I still feel like we're dating.

I was a per diem floater in the same junior high school I went to. I sat in the office and made $42.50 a day, and whenever a teacher was absent, I'd substitute. I taught everything from English to auto shop.

When I'm not thrilled, I get funny.