Billy Crystal to return as host for 84th Academy Awards

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Billy Crystal will serve as host for the 84th Academy Awards, producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer have announced.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Billy back to the Oscar stage,” Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak said in a press release. “He’s a comic legend and Oscar icon, and it feels good to have him back where he belongs.”

The announcement of Crystal’s hosting the Oscars follows a week of turmoil when producer Brett Ratner resigned after an unflattering homophobic slur and host Eddie Murphy quit in support of Ratner’s resignation.

“With Billy, we’re moving forward with one of the greatest hosts in Oscar history. His return to the Oscars is, in a sense, a celebration,” Mischer said.

This will mark Crystal’s ninth time as host. Only Bob Hope has hosted more Academy Awards presentations, with 19 ceremonies between 1940 and 1978.

Crystal last hosted the Academy Awards in 2004.

“Some of the best moments of my career have happened on the Oscar stage. I am thrilled to be back there. Actually, I am doing this so that the young woman in my pharmacy will stop asking me my name when I pick up my prescriptions,” Crystal said.

Crystal was the master of ceremonies in 1997 when the telecast opened with a specially produced video that, with the help of special effects, inserted Crystal into key scenes from some of the year’s nominated films. He was first host in 1990.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.