Henry Winkler

Biography: Though he stands small at 5'6½", this actor created one of television's biggest characters: as the ultra-cool greaser Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli on "Happy Days" (1974-84) he became a pop idol overnight. Henry Franklin Winkler was born in New York City on October 30, 1945 to Jewish holocost escapees Harry Irving and Ilse Anna Maria Winkler. This backdrop had a profound influence of his youth. For instance, the synagogue Winkler's family attended was built by holocost escapees and survivors. In many ways, Winkler's real relationship with his parents was reflected in his account of Fonzie's relationship with his father. At age 31, when Winkler was diagnosed with dyslexia, he reflected back on his childhood, "...all those arguments, all that disappointment, all that punishment and grounding was for naught." As he addressed the Austin College class of 2002, he concluded with, "Thank you for listening to me... my parents never did." But one element of Winkler that did not carry over to Fonzie was his desire for education. Whereas, Fonzie was a dropout who only later appreciated the importance of finishing High School, Winkler attended New York City's Horace Mann Schools. Later, he received advanced degrees from New England schools such as Emerson College (M.A., Drama), Yale School of Drama (M.F.A.), and again Emerson College (Ph.D, Hebrew Literature).

More recently, Dr. Winkler, with Lin Oliver, started a series of books called "Hank Zipzer". The books are about a boy in fourth grade who has dyslexia. The series includes books with bizarre titles as shown in the trivia section of this guide. These books are mildly autobiographical.

As an actor, he appeared in dozens of commercials before making his screen debut, prophetically enough in the youth gang picture The Lord's of Flatbush (1974). He had a bit part in Crazy Joe (also 1974) before landing the role of "The Fonz." His subsequent attempt to translate TV fame to film stardom with leading roles in Heroes (1977), The One and Only (1978), and Night Shift (1982, directed by his "Happy Days" costar Ron Howard) were only modestly successful.

In 1978, Winkler married child welfare advocate Stacey Weitzman. Weitzman had a 6-year-old son Jed, through whom Winkler learned of his dyslexic condition. For the more Winkler learned of his stepson's condition, the more he saw the very symptoms in himself. In addition to Jed. Winkler and Weitzman have a daughter, Zoe Emily, and a son, Max.

As "Happy Days" wound down, Winkler started directing his energies behind the camera. He coproduced the popular TV series "MacGyver" (1985-92) and the less successful "Mr. Sunshine" (1986), and directed the theatrical features Memories of Me (1988) and Cop and a Half (1993). He returned to acting in the TV movies Absolute Strangers (1991) and The Only Way Out (1993), and took the starring role in the sitcom "Monty" (1994) playing a right-wing talk show host.
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Henry Winkler's Scores

Average career score: 65
Highest Metascore: 88 Arrested Development: Season 2
Lowest Metascore: 53 Out of Practice: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
3 tv reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
tbd Arrested Development: Season 3 Sep 19, 2005 Barry Zuckerkorn 9.3
53 Out of Practice: Season 1 Sep 19, 2005 Stuart Barnes 8.8
88 Arrested Development: Season 2 Nov 7, 2004 Barry Zuckerkorn 9.4
tbd Clifford's Puppy Days: Season 1 Sep 1, 2003 Norville tbd
tbd Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: Season 6 Oct 5, 2001 Director 6.0
tbd Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: Season 4 Sep 24, 1999 Director 8.0
tbd Clueless: Season 2 Sep 23, 1997 Director tbd
54 Clueless: Season 1 Sep 20, 1996 Director tbd
tbd Dave's World: Season 3 Sep 13, 1995 Director tbd
tbd MacGyver: Season 8 May 14, 1994 Executive Producer 10
tbd Happy Days: Season 11 Sep 27, 1983 Arthur Herbert "Fonzie" Fonzarelli / Executive Producer tbd
tbd Joanie Loves Chachi: Season 2 Sep 30, 1982 Director tbd
tbd Happy Days: Season 10 Sep 28, 1982 Arthur Herbert "Fonzie" Fonzarelli tbd
tbd Happy Days: Season 9 Oct 6, 1981 Arthur Herbert "Fonzie" Fonzarelli tbd
tbd Happy Days: Season 8 Nov 11, 1980 Arthur Herbert "Fonzie" Fonzarelli tbd
tbd Happy Days: Season 7 Sep 11, 1979 Arthur Herbert "Fonzie" Fonzarelli tbd
tbd Happy Days: Season 6 Sep 12, 1978 Arthur Herbert "Fonzie" Fonzarelli tbd
tbd Happy Days: Season 5 Sep 13, 1977 Arthur Herbert "Fonzie" Fonzarelli tbd
tbd Laverne & Shirley (1983): Season 2 Sep 28, 1976 Fonzie tbd
tbd Happy Days: Season 4 Sep 21, 1976 Arthur Herbert "Fonzie" Fonzarelli tbd
tbd Laverne & Shirley (1983): Season 1 Jan 27, 1976 Arthur Fonzarelli 9.0
tbd Happy Days: Season 3 Sep 9, 1975 Arthur Herbert "Fonzie" Fonzarelli tbd
tbd Happy Days: Season 2 Sep 10, 1974 Arthur Herbert "Fonzie" Fonzarelli tbd