Back in the 1970s, I was one of the people glued to the TV screen enjoying the show “Happy Days”. I was born at the end of the 1950s so I missed all the fun teenagers had then but I could relive it through the show. One of the characters was Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli portrayed by Henry Winkler. Winkler was not the most handsome of actors but when he put on that leather jacket and got into this role he was everything a girl could want. He played the role from 1974 to 1984 and left behind such catchphrases as “Heyyy” and “Sit on it”.
Henry Winkler came into this world just before Halloween on October 30, 1945. He got his education at Emerson College and received a Masters Degree in fine arts from the Yale School of Drama. He started out appearing in commercials and landed small roles on shows like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Bob Newhart Show”. He finally made it big time when he landed the role of Fonzie on “Happy Days” about a family named Cunnigham living in Milwaukee in the 1950s. The Cunnigham family included mom Marion and dad Howard portrayed by Marion Ross and Tom Bosley, their son Ritchie played by Ron Howard and his sister Joanie by Erin Gray.
Can you imagine how time moves on Winkler was 27 when he played Fonzie and today he is a very young 72.
At first, Fonzie was meant to be a minor character and through the talent of Winkler quickly became the star of the show. Soon fans just couldn’t get enough of him and of course, motorcycles and leather jackets were cool once more. After the show ended Winkler got guest-starring roles in lots of different TV shows among them “MacGyver”. He also wound up on the big screen in such movies as “The Lord of Flatbush” and “Heroes”. In 1992 he appeared in “Nightshift” which was directed by his former co-star Ron Howard and in 1998 he was in “The Waterboy” with Adam Sandler.
Winkler is also an author writing children’s books. He has the learning disability dyslexia but amazing as it seemed he was not diagnosed until he was 31. His books are about a boy named Hank Zipper who is in the 4th grade and is dyslexic. So far he has published 17 books about Zipper the “world’s greatest underachiever”.