Even though it’s been 45 years since Happy Days premiered, Henry Winkler, who played iconic character, Arthur ‘Fonzie’ Fonzarelli, still admits that not only do people still call him by his TV name, but that “the Fonz” had quite the impact on his life.
“People still call me Fonzie,” the 73-year-old recently revealed to Daily Mail. “I don’t care. The Fonz gave me the world. The Fonz gave me a house, and put my children through college,” he continued. The Barry actor also confessed that the character was one that he wishes he was like in his real life.
“I had no sense of myself growing up,” he admitted. “I was gregarious on the outside, but inside I was anxious and scared all the time. So the Fonz, by changing my voice and my body, allowed me to be the mirror opposite of who I really was.” It also did not help that Henry had a rough childhood, with parents that weren’t kind to him.
“I”m grateful for my life, but my parents were very prickly and very difficult people,” the author recalled. “My father spoke 11 languages, and told me I was stupid in every one of them. Now I am learning-challenged — I have dyslexia — so education was really difficult for me.” He added, “My parents used to call me ‘dummer hund,” which in German means ‘dumb dog.’ Very supportive people, right?”
And yet, even with all of that, Henry has had a very successful career, showing up in multiple films and TV shows throughout his long career, and snagging two Golden Globes along the way. The actor has also been married to Stacey Weitzman for 40 years. The pair are parents to two children, daughter Zoe Emily Winkler, 39, and son Max Winkler, 35.
“He’s a totally selfless guy though and he’s not sinking his new fortune into cars or real estate, instead he’s just spoiling his family, especially his grandkids,” an insider once exclusively told Closer Weekly. “He loves giving his family generous gifts but he also dotes on them in a non-materialistic way, too, by spending time and reading them the stories that he’s written.” What a guy!
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