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
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: 64
Highest Metascore: 89 Arrested Development: Season 1
Lowest Metascore: 41 Sit Down, Shut Up: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
8 tv reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
tbd Royal Pains: Season 8 May 18, 2016 Eddie R. Lawson 10
tbd Childrens' Hospital: Season 6 Mar 21, 2015 Sy Mittleman tbd
tbd Royal Pains: Season 6 Jun 10, 2014 Eddie R. Lawson 6.4
tbd Parks and Recreation: Season 6 Sep 26, 2013 Dr. Saperstein 8.6
tbd The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Season 10 Sep 2, 2013 Himself 9.0
tbd Childrens' Hospital: Season 5 Jul 25, 2013 Fred Nunley 3.5
tbd Royal Pains: Season 5 Jun 12, 2013 Eddie R. Lawson 7.0
72 Arrested Development: Season 4 May 26, 2013 Barry Zuckerkorn 8.2
tbd Childrens' Hospital: Season 4 Aug 9, 2012 Sy/Fred Nunley tbd
tbd Royal Pains: Season 4 Jun 6, 2012 Eddie R. Lawson 5.8
tbd Laverne & Shirley (1983): Season 5 Sep 18, 2011 Fonzie tbd
tbd Royal Pains: Season 3 Jun 29, 2011 Eddie R. Lawson 6.5
tbd Childrens' Hospital: Season 3 Jun 2, 2011 Sy Mittleman 7.0
tbd Childrens' Hospital: Season 2 Aug 22, 2010 Sy Mittleman 7.3
tbd Royal Pains: Season 2 Jun 3, 2010 Eddie R. Lawson 6.1
tbd Sit Down, Shut Up: Season 2 Sep 12, 2009 Willard Deutschebog 8.0
61 Royal Pains: Season 1 Jun 4, 2009 Eddie R. Lawson 7.3
41 Sit Down, Shut Up: Season 1 Apr 19, 2009 Willard Deutschebog 5.2
58 Parks and Recreation: Season 1 Apr 9, 2009 Dr. Saperstein 7.7
tbd Childrens' Hospital: Season 1 Dec 8, 2008 Fred Nunley 7.5
tbd Arrested Development: Season 3 Sep 19, 2005 Barry Zuckerkorn 9.2
53 Out of Practice: Season 1 Sep 19, 2005 Stuart Barnes 8.8
tbd Clifford's Puppy Days: Season 2 Sep 12, 2005 Norville tbd
88 Arrested Development: Season 2 Nov 7, 2004 Barry Zuckerkorn 9.4
89 Arrested Development: Season 1 Nov 2, 2003 Barry Zuckerkorn 9.2
tbd Clifford's Puppy Days: Season 1 Sep 1, 2003 Norville tbd
tbd Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: Season 6 Oct 5, 2001 Director 2.9
tbd Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: Season 4 Sep 24, 1999 Director 3.5
tbd Clueless: Season 2 Sep 23, 1997 Director tbd
53 Clueless: Season 1 Sep 20, 1996 Director tbd