Henry Winkler
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Henry Winkler

Henry Winkler

Henry Winkler (43968252532).jpg
Winkler at the Raleigh Supercon in 2018
Born
Henry Franklin Winkler

(1945-10-30) October 30, 1945 (age 75)
EducationEmerson College (Bachelor of Arts)
Yale University (Master of Fine Arts)
Occupation
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • author
  • executive producer
  • director
Years active1972-present
Known forFonzie (Happy Days)
Barry Zuckerkorn (Arrested Development)
Gene Cousineau (Barry)
Fritz (Monsters at Work)
Notable work
MacGyver (executive producer)
Hank Zipzer (children's books)
Stacey Weitzman
(m. 1978)
Children3, including Max Winkler
RelativesRichard Belzer (cousin)

Henry Franklin Winkler (born October 30, 1945) is an American actor, comedian, children's book author, executive producer, and director. He initially rose to fame for his role as Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli, a greaser who became the breakout character of the sitcom Happy Days. He won two Golden Globe Awards, and earned three Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for the role. He also earned a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama for his portrayal of Jack Dunne in Heroes (1977), and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his role as Chuck Lumley in the film Night Shift (1982). In addition, he gained recognition as an executive producer, winning a Genesis Award for MacGyver, the Bronze Wrangler for Dead Man's Gun, and the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children's Special for the CBS Schoolbreak Special: "All the Kids Do It." He also received a Daytime Emmy nomination for Hollywood Squares, and a Primetime Emmy nomination for the televised version of Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids?.

Winkler later portrayed the high school principal Arthur Himbry in Scream (1996), Coach Klein in Adam Sandler's The Waterboy (1998), and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, for his role as Dr. Henry Olson on The Practice. He also portrayed a number of notable television characters including Barry Zuckerkorn in Arrested Development (for which he received the Gold Derby Award), Sy Mittleman in Childrens Hospital, Dr. Saperstein in Parks and Recreation, and Eddie R. Lawson in Royal Pains. He currently portrays Fritz in the 2021 computer-animated streaming television series Monsters at Work (a midquel to the 2001 film Monsters, Inc.), and Gene Cousineau in Barry (for which he received two Golden Globe nominations, three Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations, and two awards for the role: the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (2018), and the 2018 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series).

Winkler grew up unaware that he was dyslexic (he was not diagnosed until the age of 31). Thus in 2003, he decided to collaborate with children's literature author Lin Oliver, on a series of books about a dyslexic child, Hank Zipzer, in order to raise awareness on the issue. He also appeared as Mr. Rock in the BBC adaptation of the series. Winkler and Oliver later collaborated on the prequel for the series (Here's Hank), as well as the Ghost Buddy series. They are currently writing the Alien Superstar series.

Biography

Early life

Escape from Berlin (Parents)

Winkler's parents Ilse Anna Marie (née Hadra) (1913-1999)[1] and lumber import-exporter Harry Irving Winkler (1903-1995)[2][3] were German Jews who were living in Berlin[2][1] during the rise of Nazi Germany. By 1939, his father knew that they were no longer safe and had to leave. He thus arranged to take his wife on a six-week business trip to the United States, and was expected to return.[4] He smuggled out the family jewels by encasing them in chocolate (and carrying them in a chocolate box).[4] Winkler's Uncle Helmut was supposed to join them, but at the last minute decided to leave at a later date (and was eventually taken away by the Nazis).[5][4][6] With the money from the pawned jewelry, his father managed to keep himself and his wife permanently in the U.S.[4] They family settled in New York, and his father developed the same that business he had in Germany.[6][7][4] Winkler would eventually return to Berlin and share this story on a 2018 episode of Better Late Than Never.[5][4]

Childhood

Henry Franklin Winkler (named after both his Uncle Helmut and then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt)[6] was born a few years later on October 30, 1945, in the West Side of New York City's Manhattan borough. This was his home for the first 27 years of his life, before moving to California in 1973.[8][6] He has a sister named Beatrice,[7] and is a cousin of fellow actor Richard Belzer.[9] Although they did not keep kosher, Winkler was raised in the traditions of Conservative Judaism.[10] The family attended Congregation Habonim, where his mother ran the Judaica shop.[6]

Difficulties in school

"You want so badly to be able to do it and you can't. And no matter how hard you try, it's not working. You sharpen your pencils. You reinforce your lined paper with those gummy reinforcements. All your notebooks are all neat. You've got your dividers for all your subjects. You're doing everything you can do to be in control and you have no control over your brain. It is painful...I would study my words. I would know them cold. I would know them backwards and forwards. I would go to class. I would pray that I had retained them. Then I would get the test and spend a lot of time thinking about where the hell those words went. I knew them. The must have fallen out of my head. Did I lose them on the street? Did I lose them in the stairwell? Did I lose them walking through the classroom doorway? I didn't have the slightest idea of how to spell the words that I knew a block and a half away in my apartment the night before."

--Henry Winkler, From The Yale Center For Dyslexia and Creativity, "Henry Winkler, Director & Actor."[11]

Winkler's parents believed that he would go to college and then take over the family business. Winkler remembers that "they would not tolerate poor marks."[3] Winkler, however, struggled with school (he was not diagnosed as dyslexic until he was 31).[12][4][11][3] He would later describe the experience as one where his father "wanted me to go into the family business, buying and selling wood. But the only wood I was interested in was Hollywood."[13]

Winkler describes his childhood struggles as "excruciating...if I got a D, I went in my room and celebrated that I hadn't failed. My self-image was almost nonexistent."[3] He further states that he "was called lazy. I was called stupid. I was told I was not living up to my potential. And all the time inside I'm thinking, I don't think I'm stupid. I don't want to be stupid. I'm trying as hard as I can. I really am. I was grounded for most of my high school career. They thought if I stayed at my desk for 6 weeks at a time, I was going to get it and they were just going to put an end to the silliness of my laziness. That was going to be that."[11] In contrast, his father spoke 11 languages, and could quickly do mathematics in his head. He thus did not understand Winkler's problems at school, referred to him as "dummer hund" (dumb dog) in German, and punished him for his poor grades.[6] It was only decades later, when his stepson Jed was diagnosed with dyslexia, that Winkler realized he was also dyslexic.[11]

Winkler attended P.S. 87 on West 78th Street, Manhattan, and then attended the McBurney School on Manhattan's Upper West Side.[14] Although he knew that he wanted to be an actor since he was seven years old,[15][13][16] his academic performance made it difficult to perform in school productions.[6][16] He was also "grounded most of my high school career. I was told I would never achieve."[16] Furthermore, although Winkler graduated from the McBurney School in 1963,[14] he was not allowed to attend graduation, as he had to repeat Geometry for the fourth time during summer school. After finally passing the course, he received his diploma in the mail.[12][6][12]

Winkler applied to 28 colleges, but was admitted to only two of them, one of which was Emerson College in Boston.[6] While at Emerson, he majored in theater and minored in child psychology (he has stated that he also considered becoming a child psychologist if he did not succeed as an actor),[17][6] graduating in 1967.[8][18] Decades later in 1978, Emerson awarded Winkler an honorary DHL (he also received an honorary DHL from Austin College).[19][20]

Yale (1967-1972)

Yale School of Drama

During his senior year at Emerson, Winkler decided to audition for the Yale School of Drama. At the same time, his then-undiagnosed dyslexia created complications when auditioning for plays, as he either forgot his lines or had difficulty reading directly from the script. He thus forgot the Shakespearean monologue he was supposed to perform for the audition. However, he drew upon a life-long compensation technique (improvising lines based upon his understanding of the character), and invented a monologue during the audition. Regardless, he was admitted into the MFA program in 1967.[6] During the summers, he and his Yale classmates opened a summer stock theater called New Haven Free Theater, and put on various plays (including Woyzeck, and an improv night). The company also performed The American Pig at the Joseph Papp Public Theater for the New York Shakespeare Festival in New York City.[6]

Winkler earned his MFA in 1970.[21][8] In addition, out of his original cohort of 25 actors at Yale, Winkler was one of 11 who graduated.[6] Later in 1996, he served as the Class Day Speaker for Yale University's graduation ceremony.[21]

Yale Repertory Theater

Winkler was one of three students from his graduating class of 11 who were invited to become a part of the Yale Repertory Theatre company.[6] During his time there, Cliff Robertson, who had seen him perform in East Hampton, offered him a part in his film The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid. Winkler had to decline because he had no understudy for his current role, and thus was unable to leave. He stayed with the Yale Repertory Theatre for a year and a half.[6] Winkler appeared in over a dozen Yale Repertory Theater productions, including Shakespeare's Coriolanus (May 1968) and Macbeth (February 1971), Gogol's The Government Inspector (February 1970), the world premiere of Gimpel the Fool (an Isaac Bashevis Singer adaptation, October 1970) and Two by Brecht and Weill: The Little Mahagonny and The Seven Sins (May-June 1971 and January 1972).[22] During this time period (1971), Winkler got a job at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. to work on the play, Moonchildren, but was fired by director Alan Schneider.[6]

Career

1972-1984

The Fonz becomes a singing superstar. Pictured are Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney, Ron Howard as Richie Cunningham, Henry Winkler as Fonzie, and Penny Marshall as Laverne DiFazio.
Marion Cunningham (Marion Ross) enters a dance contest with Fonzie instead of Howard (who is not interested). Since both of them have kept their practice sessions a secret, Howard begins to think Marion has someone else, due to her unexplained absences at home.
Potsie (Anson Williams), Richie (Ron Howard), Fonzie (Henry Winkler) and Ralph Malph (Donny Most) at Arnold's drvie-in. The episode deals with Fonzie's attempt to set a record by leaping over 14 garbage cans with his motorcycle.

Pre-Happy Days (1972-1973)

Winkler moved back to New York and experienced new sets of difficulties finding work in the theater, as he continued to struggle with cold reading of scripts.[11] While he didn't know at the time that he was dyslexic, he had developed compensation strategies that helped him learn "to negotiate with your learning challenge. I improvised. I never read anything the way that it was written in my entire life. I would read it. I could instantly memorize a lot of it and then what I didn't know, I made up and threw caution to the wind and did it with conviction and sometimes I made them laugh and sometimes I got hired."[11]

Although he appeared in the short-lived play, 42 Seconds from Broadway, (1972)[23][3] Winkler states, "the self-doubt was the most difficult part of that time...the rejection just fueled the will."[3] He supported himself through television commercials, work which allowed him to continue to perform with the Manhattan Theater Club for free.[3][6] He was also cast in the independent film, The Lords of Flatbush (1974), filmed in New York, with then unknown Sylvester Stallone.[6]

By 1973, Winkler had enough money to travel to California and explore his options in Hollywood for one month. During this time, he landed his first role on television as Rhoda's date, Steve Waldman on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (Season 4, Episode 10, "The Dinner Party"), and performed with Mary Tyler Moore, Ed Asner, Betty White, Valerie Harper, and Gavin MacLeod.[24]

Happy Days (1974-1984)

Before leaving Hollywood, Winkler was offered the role of Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, better known as "Fonzie" or "The Fonz", on a new show called Happy Days. He said he would accept the role if they would show who the character was when he took his jacket off, and then moved permanently to California.[4][6] He appeared as "The Fonz" on the first episode of Happy Days (which premiered in January 1974), and was continuously with the series until it ended it in July 1984.[25][26] Winkler, himself, is different from the character, as he has stated that The Fonz, "was everything I wanted to be."[27][4]

Happy Days director/producer Garry Marshall originally had a completely different idea in mind for the role of "The Fonz." Marshall wanted to cast a hunky, blond, Italian model-type male in the role, and imagined the character to be a stupid foil to the real star, Ron Howard. Micky Dolenz (of The Monkees) was originally considered for the role.[28] Winkler's audition made Marshall change his mind.[29] By the third season, "The Fonz" became the focus of the show.[30] In addition, ABC executives did not want to see Fonzie wearing leather, thinking it would imply that the character was a criminal. Thus, the first 13 episodes show Winkler wearing two different kinds of windbreaker jackets, one of which was green.[4][6] Marshall argued with the executives about the jacket. In the end, a compromise was made: Winkler could only wear the leather jacket in scenes with his motorcycle. And, from that point on, the Fonz was never without his motorcycle, until season 2.[6][29]

During his time on Happy Days, Winkler continued to struggle with the consequences of his then-undiagnosed dyslexia. He struggled with cold-readings stating: "I embarrassed myself for 10 years reading around that table with the producers, the other actors, the director, all of the department heads. On Monday morning, we read the scripts. I stumbled over every word. I was completely embarrassed."[4] Winkler compensated by memorizing the scripts as he states, "memorizing, if it's written well, my brain is then able to suck it up like a vacuum cleaner."[4] It took him two days to memorize, and if he forgot his lines, he would improvise.[11]

"The Fonz Dance" (Season 4, Episode 8) refers to Winkler improvising a version of the hora as Richie's band plays the song Hava Nagila.[31][32] Years later in 2018, Winkler performed a version of the dance as a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.[31][32]

Additional 1970s and early 1980s work

During his decade on Happy Days, Winkler portrayed Jack (a Vietnam War vet with PTSD) with then unknown Harrison Ford and Sally Field, in Heroes (1977), a role for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama.[33] He also appeared in the 1977 TV special, "Henry Winkler Meets William Shakespeare," part of the CBS Festival of Lively Arts for Young People instructional series for children.[34][35] Winkler later portrayed Andy in the Carl Reiner film, The One and Only (1978) and Benedict Slade in An American Christmas Carol (TV movie, 1979). He was also the executive producer and host for the 1978 50-minute television version of the documentary, Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids?,[6] which was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Series or Special in 1979.[36]

In 1983, he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his portrayal of Chuck in the 1982 film, Night Shift (with Shelly Long right before she joined Cheers, and then-unknown Michael Keaton).[33]

Post-Happy Days (1984-2003)

After Happy Days ended in 1984, Winkler was typecast as "The Fonz," and faced difficulty finding acting jobs for many years.[4] Winkler later remembers that time period as one where it was "just true I was on a television show that was really popular for a long time and then you'd go into an audition and people would say, 'You're such a great actor. You're the Fonz!' For 10 years I had to bob and weave to figure out what I was going to do. I can understand how people can fall off the edge of the earth when they are on a popular television show. How disheartening it is."[15][6] However, he has also stated that he lives his life by "tenacity and gratitude," and sees himself as "that toy with sand at the bottom you punch it and it goes right back to center. That is it: You have to get up, dust yourself off and you have to just keep yourself moving forward."[15]

Producing

Winkler established Winkler-Rich Productions with John Rich; whenever Rich or Ann Daniels was uninvolved, his company was called Fair Dinkum Productions. He chose the name in a nod to Australia, where "fair dinkum" is a common Australian term suggesting a person or thing is "direct," "honest," "fair," or "authentic".[6] He thus turned to producing, and was an executive producer on MacGyver, which won the Genesis Award (Best TV Drama) in 1991, and Dead Man's Gun, which won the Bronze Wrangler in 1998. He was also executive producer on several other shows, including Sightings, So Weird, and Mr. Sunshine. In 2002, he partnered with Michael Levitt (producer) to revamp and update The Hollywood Squares (for the fifth season of the 1998 reboot),[37] which was then nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show in 2003.[38]

"My first impulse was to say, 'thank you very much, but I'm busy,'" Henry recalled. "I then thought to myself, 'oh my goodness; how can you say no? How could you possibly turn this down?' And then I said to myself very easily, 'you can't do this, you'll be out of the business, you'll be out of your life. Aside from this, you'll be embarrassing yourself into oblivion.'" (Later, after working through the difficulties dyslexia creates for him with "cold-reads," he agreed to the reading and asked for the script in advance so that he could memorize it) "Can you imagine if I had given into my fear...You don't have any idea how powerful you are and what you can achieve. You literally cannot give in to your fear. You literally have got to walk over it, step on it's face and keep moving toward where you want to go and eventually, if I can get there, there's no reason you can't get there."

--Henry Winkler (on the fear he experienced over Neil Simon's request that he read for The Dinner Party), From The Yale Center For Dyslexia and Creativity, "Henry Winkler, Director & Actor."[11]

Directing

Winkler first began directing in 1982, when Garry Marshall gave him the opportunity to direct the 13th episode of the Happy Days spin-off, Joanie Loves Chachi starring Scott Baio and Erin Moran.[29] Two years later, he directed and was executive producer for the CBS Schoolbreak Special: "All the Kids Do It" (which also starred Baio),[39] for which he won the 1985 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children's Special (executive producer),[40] and was nominated for the 1985 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Directing in Children's Programming.[41] In addition to a few television programs, Winkler also directed the theatrical releases, Memories of Me with Billy Crystal (1988), and Cop and a Half with Burt Reynolds (1993).[6]

Winkler, Adam Sandler, and Kevin James at a ceremony for Sandler to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, February 1, 2011.

Acting

Winkler returned to acting in 1991, when he starred in Absolute Strangers.[42] A few years later, he starred in the short-lived 1994 series Monty with David Schwimmer (before his debut on Friends), and appeared in Scream (1996) as foul-mouthed high school principal Arthur Himbry. His role was uncredited, however, as the producers were concerned that he would only be seen as The Fonz, and thus distract from the film.[6] In 2000, he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, for his portrayal of Dr. Henry Olson on The Practice.[36]

In 1994, Adam Sandler included Fonzie in the The Chanukah Song (which debuted on Saturday Night Live).[43] Winkler called Sandler to thank him, which led first to a friendship, and later a few roles for Winkler.[44] He was Coach Klein in Sandler's 1998 film, The Waterboy, and also appeared in Little Nicky in 2000, Click in 2006, and You Don't Mess with the Zohan in 2008.[6]

Winkler also worked on a few projects with his longtime friend John Ritter, whom he first met in 1978 at ABC's 25th anniversary party, when Winkler was still on Happy Days, and Ritter was Jack Tripper on the television series, Three's Company.[45] He directed Ritter in the 1986 television movie, A Smoky Mountain Christmas starring Dolly Parton,[46] and in 1993, they co-starred in the made-for-television movie, The Only Way Out.[47] Later in 2000, they led a Broadway ensemble cast in Neil Simon's The Dinner Party.[48][3] In 2003, Winkler was slated for a guest appearance on Ritter's show, 8 Simple Rules (for Dating my Teenage Daughter). However, during the filming of the episode, Ritter became ill and had to be taken to the hospital, dying a few days later. The episode was never completed and Winkler's role was dropped, as the series had to be rewritten to contextualize Ritter's passing.[49][50][45]

2003-present

Arrested Development

In 2003, Winkler first appears as the incompetent lawyer Barry Zuckerkorn in season one ("In God We Trust") of Arrested Development, and would become a regular in both the series and the reboot. For his portrayal of Barry Zuckerkorn, Winkler won a Gold Derby Award:Comedy Guest Actor in 2004,[51] and was nominated for Gold Derby Award:Comedy Guest Actor of the Decade in 2010.[52] In 2014, he was nominated as part of the cast for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.[53]

Winkler states that Barry's "hopping" over the shark on the pier in Episode 13 of the second season (2005), is a reference to the phrase "jumping the shark," which was coined by Jon Hein in response to Season Five, Episode Three, "Hollywood: Part 3" of the sitcom Happy Days (1974-1984), when his character Fonzie jumps over a shark while on water-skis.[54] Winkler notes that he is "the only actor, maybe in the world, that has jumped the shark twice -- once on Happy Days, and once on Arrested Development."[54][55] Arrested Development makes additional references to Happy Days as well (since one of the executive producers was Ron Howard who also narrated the show). Vulture notes that in Season One, Episode 17, Winkler's character Barry "looks into the mirror and does the 'no comb necessary' Fonzie pose."[55] Later in Season Three, Episode Three, Scott Baio joins the cast as the potentially new lawyer Bob Loblaw, stating "look, this is not the first time I've been brought in to replace Barry Zuckerkorn. I think I can do for you everything he did. Plus, I skew younger. With juries and so forth." Vulture further argues that this statement is "a nod to Happy Days, where [Baio] was brought on as Chachi, to be a new teen idol as Henry Winkler got older."[55]

Hank Zipzer

In 2003, Winkler began to work with children's book author Lin Oliver on the Hank Zipzer children's series. All of the characters in the books are based on real people, including Hank who is based on Winkler as a child.[12] The idea originated with his agent at CAA, Alan Berger, who in 1998 first suggested the idea to him. However, Winkler did not believe he was capable of creating children's books. It was only a few years later, after the suggestion was made to him again, that Winkler agreed.[12][7][15][11][56] The publisher, Penguin Putnam, choose to publish the books with a special font that was created specifically for dyslexic readers by a dyslexic graphic designer (with dyslexic children) in Holland.[4]

After they completed the main books, Winkler and Oliver created a prequel series, Here's Hank that explores Hank's life as a second grader (2012 to 2016).[57] He also starred in the BBC adaptation (2014-16) of the Hank Zipzer book series as the teacher Mr. Rock (who was based on a music teacher Winkler once had in high school at McBurney). Winkler said that the real Mr. Rock believed in him and was the only teacher there who he felt did[58] Oliver and Winkler co-authored the TV-tie in books to the series.[57]

2004-2016

In 2004, Winkler was nominated for a Daytime Emmy, Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program,[59] and in 2005, he won the Daytime Emmy, Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program, for his voice-work as Norville in Clifford's Puppy Days.[60] He also had regular roles in a few series including, Dr. Stewart Barnes on Out of Practice (2005-6), Eddie R. Lawson on the comedy-drama series Royal Pains (2009-2016) (where he was reunited with Ed Asner whom he first worked with on the Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1973),[15] Sy Mittleman on Childrens Hospital (2010-2016),[61] and Dr. Saperstein in Parks and Recreation (2013-2015).[15]

In 2006, Winkler appeared in his first pantomime at the New Wimbledon Theatre, London as Captain Hook in Peter Pan (replacing David Hasselhoff who pulled out when he was offered a TV role by Simon Cowell), and reprised the role in Woking for Christmas 2007. For the 2008/2009 season, he played Captain Hook at the Milton Keynes Theatre and once again for the 2009/2010 panto season at the Liverpool Empire.[62]

"Stolperstein" (stumbling stone),
Helmut Theodor Winkler,
Nikolsburger Platz 1,
Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Germany

Better Late Than Never

Winkler was an executive producer for the NBC series Better Late Than Never, which aired from 2016 to 2018. The travel-reality show (which starred Winkler, William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw, George Foreman-- and Jeff Dye) was an adaptation of the South Korean Grandpas Over Flowers series.[63][64]

The fourth episode of the second season, "Berlin: How do you say Roots in German?" focused on Winkler's exploration of the city from which his parents escaped in 1939. The search culminated at the site of a brass memorial plaque, known as a stolperstein, embedded in the pavement in front of the workplace and home of Helmut Winkler, his uncle, who died in Auschwitz.[65] Winkler's father also worked in the building and lived next door.[4][5]

Barry

Since 2018, Winkler has appeared in the role of acting teacher Gene Cousineau in the Bill Hader-helmed HBO comedy Barry.[44][66] Winkler drew upon his personal experience to develop the character stating, "I've had about 14 teachers, from Emerson College to Yale Drama School, just in between those seven years. And what was amazing is that some of them were inspirational. Some of them were mean. Some of them lost their way. And some of them had nothing to say."[4]

He received two Golden Globe nominations, three Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations, and two awards for the role: the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (2018), and the 2018 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.[4][67] In 2019, he received a second Primetime Emmy nomination.[36]

Monsters at Work

He portrays Fritz in the 2021 computer-animated streaming television series Monsters at Work, a midquel to the 2001 film Monsters, Inc.[68] Winkler stated on Twitter that a second season is in development.[69]

Additional writing

Winkler continued his work as an author of children's books, maintaining his collaboration with Lin Oliver. Together they produced the Ghost Buddy books (2012-2013), and the Alien Superstar series (2019-present).[57] In addition, Winkler published the memoir/travelogue I've Never Met an Idiot on the River in 2011.[57][15]

Henry Winkler's COVID-19 video for the Government of California, May 7, 2020, Office of the Governor of California

Personal life

Winkler met his wife Stacey (formerly Weitzman; née Furstman) in 1976 in a clothing store in Los Angeles. They married in New York in 1978, in the Synagogue where he had his Bar mitzvah.[3] They had two children together, Zoe and Max Daniel, a director. Winkler also has a stepson, Jed Weitzman, from Stacey's previous marriage with Howard Weitzman.[3]

Winkler is an avid fly fisherman and often fishes in Montana. On the rewards of this hobby, Winkler said, "The repetition of it, the sound of the water, I find it to be totally draining. Anything that bothers you is completely washed from your body. I see fly-fishing as a washing machine for your brain. My technique is still ugly as sin. But somehow I get the fish. [...] I have never eaten a trout in a restaurant, let alone take it out of the river."[15]

Legacy

The Fonz

TV Guide ranked Fonzie as number 4 on its 50 Greatest TV Characters of All Time list in 1999,[70] and a 2001 poll conducted by Channel 4 in the UK, ranked the Fonz 13th on their list of the 100 Greatest TV Characters.[71]

"How you learn has nothing to do with how brilliant you are...everyone in this room is powerful...figure out what your power is. We don't know what we can do until we try."

--Henry Winkler, Keynote speaker, 13th Annual Boys and Girls Club Kids & Community Gala (2019)[16]

When asked which books influenced him in childhood, American journalist Anderson Cooper (who is also dyslexic) responded that, "I also loved the Fonz and read a book when I was around 8 called The Fonz: The Henry Winkler Story. I actually keep it in my office at CNN. Henry Winkler was very important to me when I was a child. Meeting him as an adult -- and discovering what a kind and gracious person he is -- was amazing."[72] This sentiment reflects both NPR's (Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!) assessment that for "kids growing up in the 1970s, there was one, absolute model of cool -- not James Dean or Marlon Brando, but The Fonz,"[73] as well as National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution curator Eric Jentsch who added the following to the description of Fonzie's leather jacket that Winkler donated in 1980: "Fonzie was a representation of cool at a time when you were learning about what cool was."[74][75][76]

In 1981, Winkler received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (for Television), largely due to his portrayal of Fonzie.[77][8] A few decades later, American artist Gerald P. Sawyer, unveiled the Bronze Fonz (a public artwork) on the Milwaukee Riverwalk in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 18, 2008.[78]

Hank Zipzer and dyslexia awareness

Winkler would eventually be recognized for contributing to a greater understanding of dyslexia and learning disabilities through the Hank Zipzer series. He was given the Key to the City of Winnipeg for "contributions to education and literacy," (2010)[79] was appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) "for services to children with special educational needs and dyslexia in the UK" by Queen Elizabeth (2011),[80][81] was named one of the United Kingdom's Top 10 Literacy Heroes (2013),[82] and was awarded the Bill Rosendahl Public Service Award for Contributions to the Public Good for his children's books (2019).[83]

Accolades

Awards and nominations

Behind The Voice Actors Awards

Year Category Recipient/Nominated work Role(s) Result Ref
2015 Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series All Hail King Julien King Julien XII Nominated [84]

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards

Year Category Recipient/Nominated work Role(s) Result Ref
2015 Favorite Supporting Actor - Comedy The Waterboy Coach Klein Nominated [85]

CableACE Award

Year Category Recipient/Nominated work Role(s) Result Ref
1997 Guest Actor in a Dramatic Special or Series Dead Man's Gun Leo Sunshine / John Hays Nominated [86]

Critic's Choice Television Award

Year Category Recipient/Nominated work Role(s) Result Ref
2019 Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Barry Gene Cousineau Won [87]
2020 Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Barry Gene Cousineau Nominated [88]

Emmy Awards (Daytime)

Year Category Recipient/Nominated work Role(s) Result Ref
1985 Outstanding Children's Special CBS Schoolbreak Special: "All the Kids Do It" Executive Producer Won [40]
1985 Outstanding Directing in Children's Programming CBS Schoolbreak Special: "All the Kids Do It" Director Nominated [41]
2003 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Hollywood Squares Executive Producer Nominated [38]
2004 Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program Clifford's Puppy Days Norville Nominated [59]
2005 Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program Clifford's Puppy Days Norville Won [60]

Emmy Awards (Primetime)

Genesis Awards

Year Category Recipient/Nominated work Role(s) Result Ref
1991 Best TV Drama Series MacGyver executive producer Won [91]

The Gold Derby Awards

Year Category Recipient/Nominated work Role(s) Result Ref
2004 Comedy Guest Actor Arrested Development Barry Zuckerkorn Won [51]
2010 Comedy Guest Actor of the Decade Arrested Development Barry Zuckerkorn Nominated [52]
2018 Comedy Supporting Actor Barry Gene Cousineau Nominated [92]
2019 Comedy Supporting Actor of the Decade Barry Gene Cousineau Nominated [93]

Golden Globe Awards

Screen Actors Guild Awards

TV Land Award

Year Category Recipient/Nominated work Role(s) Result Ref
2007 The "When Bad Teens Go Good" Award Happy Days Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli Won [96]
2007 Break Up That Was So Bad It Was Good Happy Days Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli Nominated (shared with Roz Kelly) [96]

Western Heritage Awards

Year Category Recipient/Nominated work Role(s) Result Ref
1998 Bronze Wrangler, Fictional Television Drama Dead Man's Gun executive producer Won [97]

Honorary

Honors Year Category Recipient Result Ref
Mardi Gras in New Orleans 1977 9th King of the Krewe of Bacchus Parade Henry Winkler Won [98]
ShoWest Convention 1978 Male Star of the Year Award Henry Winkler Won [99]
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution February 13, 1980 Winkler donates one of the "Fonzie" leather jackets to the Smithsonian NA Won [75][74][76]
American Academy of Achievement 1980 Golden Plate Award Henry Winkler Won [100]
Hollywood Walk of Fame 1981 Star on the Walk of Fame for Television Henry Winkler Won [77][8]
Golden Apple Award 1982 Louella Parsons Award Henry Winkler Won [101]
Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards 1988 Norma Zarky Humanitarian award Stacey and Henry Winkler Won [102]
The Bronze Fonz August 19, 2008 Unveiling of a life-sized, bronze statue of Fonzie along the Milwaukee Riverwalk Henry Winkler Won [78]
Key to the City of Winnipeg March 29, 2010 For contributions to education and literacy Henry Winkler Won [79]
Order of the British Empire 2011 Appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) "for services to children with special educational needs and dyslexia in the UK" Henry Winkler Won [81][80]
National Literacy Trust 2013 Named one of the United Kingdom's Top 10 Literacy Heroes Henry Winkler Won [82]
Banff World Media Festival 2014 Award of Excellence Henry Winkler Won [103]
13th Annual American Spirit Awards 2019 Caucus Legend Award Henry Winkler Won [104]
Los Angeles Press Club 2019 The Bill Rosendahl Public Service Award for Contributions to the Public Good (for his children's books) Henry Winkler Won [83]

Filmography

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1972 Another World Intern Unknown episodes
1973 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Steve Waldman Episode: "Dinner Party"
1974 Nightmare Auditioning Actor TV movie; uncredited
1974 The Bob Newhart Show Miles Lascoe Episode: "Clink Shrink"
1974 Rhoda Howard Gordon Episode: "You Can Go Home Again"
1974 Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers Himself Episode: "Getting to First Bass"
1974-1984 Happy Days Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli Main role; 255 episodes
1975 Katherine Bob Kline TV movie; also known as The Radical
1976-1979 Laverne & Shirley Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli 4 episodes
1977 Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids? Executive Producer (television version); Host (television version)
1977 The CBS Festival of Lively Arts for Young People Himself/Romeo Episode: "Henry Winkler Meets William Shakespeare"[34][35]
1978 Mork & Mindy Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli Episode: "Pilot"
1979 An American Christmas Carol Benedict Slade TV movie
1980 Sesame Street Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli Episode #12.8
1980-1982 The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli (voice) Animated series; 24 episodes
1981 ABC Afterschool Special ("Run, Don't Walk") Executive Producer
1982 Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli (voice) Animated series; 8 episodes
1982 Joanie Loves Chachi Director Episode: Best Foot Forward[29]
1982 Joanie Loves Chachi Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli Episode: "Fonzie's Visit"
1983 Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land Executive Producer
1983 Ryan's Four Executive Producer
1984 Donald Duck's 50th Birthday Himself TV special
1984 CBS Schoolbreak Special: "All the Kids Do It" Executive Producer[39] also starring Scott Baio
1984 CBS Schoolbreak Special: "All the Kids Do It" Director[39] also starring Scott Baio
1984 Strong Kids, Safe Kids Himself/Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli Documentary[105]
1985 Scandal Sheet (1985 film) Executive Producer
1985-1992 MacGyver Executive Producer
1986 A Smoky Mountain Christmas Director
1988 ABC Afterschool Special ("A Family Again") Executive Producer
1990 MacGyver Wilton Newberry Episode: "Harry's Will"; uncredited
1991 Absolute Strangers Marty Klein TV movie
1991-1998 Sightings Executive Producer
1992 Happy Days: The Reunion Himself (host) TV special
1993 The Only Way Out Tony TV movie
1994 Monty Monty Richardson 13 episodes
1994 One Christmas Dad TV movie
1995 Dave's World Director 1 episode
1995 New York Daze Director 1 episode
1995 The Larry Sanders Show Himself Episode: "Hank's Sex Tape"
1995 A Child Is Missing Steven Moore TV movie
1997 Dad's Week Off Jack Potter TV movie
1997-1999 Dead Man's Gun (TV series) Executive Producer; Leo Sunshine / John Hays (Guest)
1997 Clueless (TV series) Director 2 episodes
1997 Detention: The Siege at Johnson High Skip Fine TV movie
1998 South Park The Scary Monster (voice) Animated series; Episode: "City on the Edge of Forever"
1999-2001 So Weird Executive Producer
1999 The Simpsons Ramrod (voice) Animated series; Episode: "Take My Wife, Sleaze"
1999-2000 The Practice Dr. Henry Olson 3 episodes
2000 Battery Park Walter Dunleavy Episode: "Walter's Rib"
2000-2002 Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996 TV series) Director Episodes: The Four Faces of Sabrina (2000); The Whole Ball of Wax (2002)
2001 Big Apple Mel Smith Episode #1.7
2001 The Drew Carey Show Mr. Newsome Episode: "It's Halloween, Dummy"
2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Edwin Todd / Edward Crandall Episode: "Greed"
2002 Ozzy & Drix Sal Monella (voice) Animated series; Episode: "The Globfather"
2002-2004 Hollywood Squares Executive Producer; Himself/Panelist (5 episodes)
2003 Clifford the Big Red Dog Artie (voice) Animated series; Episode: "Led Astray/Wedding Bell Blues"
2003 Blue's Clues Bookmark (voice) Animated/Live-Action series; Episode: "Blue's Predictions"
2003 Smart and Sober Himself Documentary (Winkler speaks with teenagers about the impact of underage drinking)
2003-2005 Clifford's Puppy Days Norville (voice) Animated series; 18 episodes
2003-2019 Arrested Development Barry Zuckerkorn 32 episodes (2003-2005; 2013-2019)
2004 Beverly Hills S.U.V. Barry Silverman TV movie
2004 Third Watch Lester Martin 3 episodes
2004 King of the Hill Himself (voice) Animated series; Episode: "A Rover Runs Through It"
2005 Crossing Jordan Dr. Jack Slocum 2 episodes
2005 Duck Dodgers Dr. Maniac (voice) Animated series; 2 episodes
2005 Happy Days: 30th Anniversary Reunion Himself TV special
2005-2006 Out of Practice Dr. Stewart Barnes 21 episodes
2006 The Interviews: An Oral History of Television Himself Documentary
2007 Odd Job Jack Devon (voice) Animated series; Episode: "Jack Ryder's Unofficial High School Reunion"
2008-2009 NUMB3RS Roger Bloom 3 episodes
2008 Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh Judge Newman TV movie
2008 The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Uncle Ralph TV movie
2009 Sit Down, Shut Up Willard Deutschebog (voice) Animated series; 13 episodes
2010-2016 Childrens Hospital Sy Mittleman 54 episodes
2010-2013 LEGO Hero Factory Professor Nathaniel Zib (voice) Animated series; 8 episodes
2010-2016 Royal Pains Eddie R. Lawson 25 episodes
2011 Dan Vs. Hal (voice) Animated series; Episode: "Traffic"
2011 Batman: The Brave and the Bold Ambush Bug (voice) Animated series; Episode: "Mitefall!"
2012 Handy Manny Mr. Diller (voice) Animated series; Episode: "St. Patrick's Day"
2012 Up All Night Marty Alexander Episode: "Daddy Daughter Time"
2012-2015 Robot Chicken Nerd's Dad, Jason Bourne, Christmas Tree (voice) Animated series; 2 episodes
2013 Newsreaders Fred Nunley Episode: "Pubic Hair Crisis"
2013 1600 Penn Senator Nathan Faxler Episode: "The Short Happy Life of Reba Cadbury"
2013 Mad Jor-El (voice) Animated series; Episode: "Mad's 100th Episode Special"
2013-2015 Parks and Recreation Dr. Saperstein 9 episodes
2014 Hollywood Game Night Himself Episode: "How I Met Your Buzzer"
2014-2017 All Hail King Julien Uncle King Julien (voice) Animated series; 10 episodes
2014-2017 Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero The Snowman (voice) Animated series; 2 episodes
2014-2016 Hank Zipzer Mr. Rock 25 episodes
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Leonard Rascal Episode: "Kid Cudi Wears a Denim Shirt and Red Sneakers"
2015 BoJack Horseman Himself (voice) Animated series; Episode: "Still Broken"
2015 Drunk History Zenas Fisk Wilber Episode: "Inventors"
2015 Bob's Burgers Mall Santa (voice) Animated series; Episode: "Nice-Capades"
2015 Uncle Grandpa Nacho Cheese (voice) Animated series; Episode: "Nacho Cheese"
2016-2018 Better Late Than Never Himself 12 episodes
2016-2021 MacGyver Executive Producer
2016 New Girl Flip Episode: "What About Fred"
2016 SpongeBob SquarePants Sharkface (voice) Animated series; Episode: "Sharks vs. Pods/CopyBob DittoPants"
2016 Hank Zipzer's Christmas Catastrophe Mr. Rock[106] TV movie
2017 All Hail King Julien: Exiled Uncle King Julien (voice) Animated series; 6 episodes
2017-2020 Puppy Dog Pals Santa Claus (voice) Animated series; 5 episodes
2018-present Barry Gene Cousineau Main cast
2019 Welcome to the Wayne Bob Wasserman (voice) Animated series; Episode: "Welcome to the Wassermans"
2019 Guardians of the Galaxy Grandpa Quill (voice) Animated series; Episode: "Just One Victory"
2019 American Dad! Child Protection Services Agent (voice) Animated series; Episode: "Mom Sauce"
2019-2021 Vampirina Uncle Dieter (voice) Animated series; 2 episodes
2020 Medical Police Sy Mittleman 2 episodes
2020 Archibald's Next Big Thing Herman Sherman (voice) Animated series; Episode: "House of the Future/Dr. Buttersocks"
2020 Bubble Guppies Snow Yeti (voice) Animated series; Episode: "Snow Squad To The Rescue!"
2021 DuckTales Bailiff (voice) Animated series; Episode: "The Life and Crimes of Scrooge McDuck!"
2021 Monsters at Work Fritz (voice) Animated series; Main cast
2021 Central Park Hank Zevansky (voice) Animated series; Episode: "The Shadow"

Theatrical release

Year Title Role Notes
1974 Crazy Joe Mannie
1974 The Lords of Flatbush Butchey Weinstein
1977 Heroes Jack Dunne
1978 The One and Only Andy Schmidt
1982 Night Shift Chuck Lumley
1985 Young Sherlock Holmes Executive Producer
1985 Molly and the Skywalkerz: Happily Ever After Carl Conway (voice) Animated film
1985 The Sure Thing Executive Producer
1988 Memories of Me Director
1989 Asterix and the Big Fight Asterix (voice) Animated film
1989 Molly and the Skywalkerz: Two Daddies? Carl Conway (voice) Animated film
1993 Cop and a Half Director
1996 Scream Principal Arthur Himbry Uncredited
1998 Ground Control John Quinn
1998 The Waterboy Coach Klein
1999 P.U.N.K.S. Edward Crow
1999 Dill Scallion Larry Steinberg
2000 Down to You Chef Ray
2000 Little Nicky Himself
2001 I Shaved My Legs for This Bartender
2003 Holes Stanley Yelnats III
2004 Fronterz Unknown
2005 Berkeley Sy
2005 The Kid & I Johnny Bernstein
2006 Unbeatable Harold Fullerton
2006 Click Ted Newman
2007 I Could Never Be Your Woman Himself Uncredited
2007 A Plumm Summer Happy Herb
2008 You Don't Mess with the Zohan Limousine Passenger Uncredited
2008 The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Uncle Ralph
2010 Group Sex Burton Video
2011 Running Mates Bob Weatherbee
2011 Adventures of Serial Buddies Narrator
2011 Beatles Stories Himself Documentary
2012 Here Comes the Boom Marty Streb
2015 Larry Gaye: Renegade Male Flight Attendant Stanley Warner
2016 Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie Ed Koch
2017 Sandy Wexler Cameo
2017 All I Want for Christmas Is You Grandpa Bill (voice) Animated film
2020 Scoob! Keith (voice) Animated film
2020 Pink Skies Ahead Dr. Cotton
2021 On the Count of Three Dr. Brenner
2021 The French Dispatch Uncle Joe
2021 Extinct Jepson (voice) Animated film
2021 More Than Miyagi: The Pat Morita Story Himself Documentary
TBA Shoot the Rooster Post-production
2022 King Cake: The Joie de Vivre Himself Post-production; Documentary

Bibliography

Books by Winkler

  • Winkler, Henry. The Other Side of Henry Winkler: My Story. New York: Warner Books, 1976. ISBN 978-0-446-87340-6 OCLC 3120426
  • Winkler, Henry. I've Never Met an Idiot on the River: Reflections on Family, Photography and Fly-Fishing. San Rafael, Calif: Insight Editions, 2011. ISBN 978-1-608-87020-2 OCLC 670481642

Children's literature

Books about Winkler

  • Green, Jonathon. The Fonz & Henry Winkler: His Real Life Story. Paradise Press, 1978.
  • Pike, Charles E. The Fonz: The Henry Winkler Story. Outback Press, 1976.

See also

Further reading

References

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External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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