Billy Crystal will receive the Lifetime Achievement honor at the Critics...

Billy Crystal will receive the Lifetime Achievement honor at the Critics Choice Awards on March 13. Credit: Steve Schofield

Billy Crystal, who turns 74 on March 14, will be getting one of his birthday gifts a little early.

On March 13, the Long Beach-raised actor-comedian will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 27th annual Critics Choice Awards. The ceremony will air on The CW and TBS at 7 p.m. with Taye Diggs and Nicole Byer as hosts.

Crystal, who had his breakout role playing one of TV's first openly gay characters on the sitcom "Soap," went on to even greater success in such films as "When Harry Met Sally…" and "City Slickers" and has hosted the Academy Awards nine times.

This Lifetime Achievement Award is just one of many honors bestowed upon Crystal during his nearly five-decade career, including six Emmys and a Tony in 2005 for his one-man show "700 Sundays." In 2007, he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for humor.

Crystal will return to Broadway this spring with the musical version of his 1992 movie "Mr. Saturday Night," which begins previews March 29 and opens April 27 at the Nederlander Theatre.

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