Within a few years, Henry Winkler’s wife received two cancer diagnoses. He volunteered to look after her, and what he accomplished is simply incredible. I was unaware of this aspect of him.
In some strange way, Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli from the popular television show Happy Days is what most people think of when they hear the name Henry Winkler. In the 1970s, Fonzie rose to fame as a symbol and representative of coolness.
On October 30, 1945, in New York City, Winkler was born. Speaking of his acting career, Winkler stated he always knew it was his calling before moving on to become a producer, director, and writer.
“I knew that I wanted to act since I was old enough to reason,” he told NPR in 2019. “I never had a Plan B. I never deviated. I never thought that there was anything else that I could possibly do in this world except to try and be a working actor.”
He had intellectual and educational problems as a child, which damaged his connection with his parents. Winkler had dyslexia at the time, but the condition wasn’t discovered until much later.
Despite his illness, young Winkler went to college, graduating from Emerson College with a bachelor’s degree in 1967 and the Yale School of Drama with a master’s degree in 1970.
Winkler became well-known for his appearance in commercials after appearing in a brief Broadway show in 1972. “I got great at getting commercials and I didn’t have to do another job to make ends meet. I made my living and I could do plays for free at the Manhattan Theatre Club at night.”
His charm and rugged appearance won over millions of fans when he debuted on Happy Days, and his motorcycle and leather jacket ended up serving as sort of the show’s hallmarks. Even though the part launched his his career, he once acknowledged that it took him around eight years to land another successful acting gig after The Fonz.
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The Prime Time Emmy Award winner shifted her concentration from performing to producing and directing after the series was finished. His production business created numerous shows, including Mr. Sunshine, So Weird, and MacGyver. In addition to appearing in shows like The Practice and Arrested Development, he has acted in films like Scream and The Waterboy.
Winkler joined Bill Hader in the comedy/drama series Barry in 2018, playing Gene Cousineau, an acting instructor. The series’ filming has been put off because to the coronavirus outbreak. “We were reading Barry’s scripts.”
On March 13, they said, ‘Go home and don’t come back,’” he told Entertainment Tonight. “Then we heard July, then we heard September, now January…Praying we go back to work in January. I’ve been sitting here waiting to be Gene Cousineau since December of 2018.”
Since the early 2000’s, Winkler published around 30 books.
“The first time I was asked to write the books I didn’t even entertain the idea. I said to Alan Berger [Winkler’s agent at CAA] who made the suggestion to me there’s no way I could never write a book,” he told the Hollywood Reporter in 2011.
Winkler and wife Stacey Furstman Weitzman have been married since 1978.
He went into the clothes store she worked at seeking for a coat, and that’s how the two became together. After Stacey assisted him in making his decision, he returned a week later and proposed a date, which she nearly rejected down.
Speaking of their first encounter, Winkler recalled, “She was wearing purple parachute pants, and she had red hair, and without her even saying a word, I thought, ‘Woah, beautiful woman standing in front of me’. I came back to the store the next week, and she was there. And within 10 minutes, I learned how strong she is.”
Stacey and her son, who was 4 years old at the time, moved in with Winkler not long after they started dating, and the couple was beginning to learn how to deal with Winkler’s rising fame.
”People would rush up to Henry and literally walk over my feet. One time I said, ‘You’ve just completely ruined my stockings.’ And this woman said, ‘But I love Fonzie!’” Stacey once shared with People.
The two welcomed a daughter and a son together, Zoey and Max.
Max has continued in his father’s footsteps by working in Hollywood as a writer, producer, and director on hit shows including Crazy Ex Girlfriend and New Girl.
Stacey is a two time cancer survivor. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer during the ’90s, and then again in 2007 when she underwent double mastectomy and is cancer free ever since.
Winkler has joined a number of groups that work to increase breast cancer awareness in order to support his wife. He spoke as a guest speaker at the 13th annual “In The Pink of Health” Luncheon, one of many activities the group organizes to raise money for breast cancer patients and their families, among other things.
We adore Winkler because he never hesitates to publicly declare his affection for his longtime wife. Winkler remarked that Stacey has remained as stunning as the day he first lay eyes on her when James Corden surprised them with a picture of their wedding day on his show.
”It does take work. There are glitches in the road, and you get a little off kilter, but if you have the ability and the stick-to-itiveness based on love, then your friendship and your relationship only gets better,” Stacey once explained to People when speaking of the couple’s long lasting marriage.
Henry Winkler and his wife love being grandparents.
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