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Henry Winkler

Henry Winkler

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Also Known As: Henry Franklin Winkler Died:
Born: October 30, 1945 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, director, producer, teacher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Impressively able to channel his 1970s star-making sitcom turn into one of the most varied and long-lasting Hollywood success stories of all time, Henry Winkler built an impressive career as an actor, producer and director in television and films. Immortalized in Americana as the good-hearted greaser "The Fonz" on "Happy Days" (ABC, 1974-1984), Winkler benefited from his career-long association and multiple collaborations with co-star Ron Howard. After "Happy Days," he brilliantly diversified his Hollywood portfolio with success in acting (1982's "Night Shift"), producing ("MacGyver" (ABC, 1985-1992)) and directing (the Billy Crystal starrer "Memories of Me" (1988)). The award-winning 1994 Weezer music video for the ultra-catchy "Buddy Holly" - which integrated the modern band into the "Happy Days" universe - introduced him to a new generation of fans, and he followed up with supporting roles in a string of successes aimed directly at them, including "Scream" (1996) and "The Waterboy" (1998). With multiple Emmy and Golden Globe awards under his belt, Winkler remained highly in demand both in front of and behind the camera, as well as one of America's most beloved pop cultural figures. ...

Impressively able to channel his 1970s star-making sitcom turn into one of the most varied and long-lasting Hollywood success stories of all time, Henry Winkler built an impressive career as an actor, producer and director in television and films. Immortalized in Americana as the good-hearted greaser "The Fonz" on "Happy Days" (ABC, 1974-1984), Winkler benefited from his career-long association and multiple collaborations with co-star Ron Howard. After "Happy Days," he brilliantly diversified his Hollywood portfolio with success in acting (1982's "Night Shift"), producing ("MacGyver" (ABC, 1985-1992)) and directing (the Billy Crystal starrer "Memories of Me" (1988)). The award-winning 1994 Weezer music video for the ultra-catchy "Buddy Holly" - which integrated the modern band into the "Happy Days" universe - introduced him to a new generation of fans, and he followed up with supporting roles in a string of successes aimed directly at them, including "Scream" (1996) and "The Waterboy" (1998). With multiple Emmy and Golden Globe awards under his belt, Winkler remained highly in demand both in front of and behind the camera, as well as one of America's most beloved pop cultural figures.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Cop And A Half (1993) Director
2.
  Memories of Me (1988) Director
3.
4.
  All the Kids Do It (1984) Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
3.
5.
 Plumm Summer, A (2008)
6.
 Heckler (2008)
8.
 Berkeley (2007)
9.
 CLICK (2006)
10.
 Kid & I, The (2005)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1968:
Founded New Haven Free Theatre
1970:
Was a member of the Yale Repertory
:
Returned to NYC to work in radio
:
Appeared in 30 TV commercials
:
Appeared on PBS satirical magazine series "The Great American Dream Machine"
1972:
Founded improvisation company Off The Wall NY
:
Acted in off-Broadway theater
1973:
Starred in the Broadway flop "42 Seconds From Broadway"
:
Moved to L.A.
:
Worked as teacher at UCLA Adult Extension
1973:
Made film acting debut in "Crazy Joe"
1974:
First significant film role, "The Lords of Flatbush"; character was precursor for his signature role The Fonz
1974:
Starred as Arthur 'Fonzie' Fonzarelli (aka The Fonz) on ABC sitcom "Happy Days"; series also starred Ron Howard as Richie Cunningham
1977:
Starred in the ABC children's educational special "Henry Winkler Meets William Shakespeare"
1977:
Executive produced Oscar-winning documentary "Who Are the DeBolts ¿ And Where Did They Get 19 Kids?"; film aired on ABC in 1978
1979:
Formed Fair Dinkum Productions; served as President from its inception
1979:
Played Scrooge-inspired character Benedict Slade in the Depression era-set ABC TV-movie "An American Christmas Carol"
1980:
Provided the voice of The Fonz for ABC Saturday morning cartoon "The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang"
1981:
Executive produced unsold pilot "Gabe and Walker"
1982:
Starred in the Ron Howard helmed comedy "Night Shift"
1982:
Voiced his Fonz character on ABC animated series "Laverne & Shirley with Special Guest Star the Fonz"
1982:
Directed an episode of "Happy Days" spin-off "Joanie Loves Chachi" (ABC)
1983:
First TV series as executive producer, short-lived ABC medical drama "Ryan's Four"
:
Directed commercials for McDonald's and Frosted Flakes
1983:
Formed JZM Productions (the initials taken from the first names of his three children), a company geared toward quality children's programming
1984:
Directed "All the Kids Do It," a "CBS Schoolbreak Special" about the dangers of drunk driving
1985:
First feature as executive producer, Rob Reiner's "The Sure Thing"
1985:
First feature as producer, Barry Levinson's "Young Sherlock Holmes"
1985:
Executive produced popular ABC adventure series "MacGyver"
1986:
Executive produced short-lived series "Mr. Sunshine" (ABC)
1986:
Made TV-movie directing debut with Dolly Parton's "A Smokey Mountain Christmas" (ABC)
1987:
Formed Winkler-Daniel Productions with Ann Daniel; inaugural project "A Family Again" (ABC, 1988) starred Jill Eikenbery and Michael Tucker
1988:
Feature directorial debut, "Memories of Me"
1990:
Created and executive produced the comedy series "Tim Conway's Funny America"
1991:
Starred as a man who wants to save his wife's life by terminating her pregnancy in "Absolute Strangers" (CBS)
1992:
Executive produced the TV series "Sightings" (Fox, The Sci-Fi Channel)
1993:
Directed "Cop and ½," a buddy film pairing Burt Reynolds and a precocious eight-year-old boy (Norman D. Golden II)
1994:
Played title character on Fox sitcom "Monty"; also executive produced
1995:
Directed an episode of "Dave's World" (CBS)
1996:
Played Principal Himbry in Wes Craven's horror hit "Scream"
1997:
Helmed episodes of the UPN comedy series "Clueless"
1997:
Executive produced Showtime series "Dead Man's Gun"; guest starred on two episodes
1998:
Played the football coach opposite Adam Sandler in surprise hit comedy "The Waterboy"
1998:
Co-starred as a malevolent boss bullying a fed-up Randy Quaid in the children's feature "P.U.N.K.S"
1999:
Cast in recurring guest role as a dentist accused of murder on "The Practice" (ABC); nominated for an Emmy for his performance
1999:
Served as a producer of The Disney Channel's sci-fi family series "So Weird"
1999:
Featured in festival screened mockumentary "Dill Scallion" and the direct-to-video drama "Ground Control"
1999:
Acted in the Los Angeles production of Neil Simon's "The Dinner Party"; reprised role on Broadway in 2000
2000:
Helmed episodes of ABC sitcom "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch"
2000:
Gave memorable guest performance on NBC sitcom "Battery Park"; initially nominated for an Emmy for his role, but the late airing of the episode missed the Emmy deadline and nomination was rescinded
2000:
Made cameo in Adam Sandler comedy vehicle "Little Nicky"
2003:
Cast in recurring role as incompetent lawyer Barry Zuckercorn on Fox's "Arrested Development"
2006:
Again cast opposite Adam Sandler in Frank Coraci directed comedy "Click"
2008:
Appeared in "You Don't Mess with the Zohan," starring Sandler
2009:
Guest starred on three episodes of "Numb3rs" (CBS)
2012:
Co-starred with Kevin James in action comedy "Here Comes the Boom," directed by Frank Coraci
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Emerson College: Boston , Massachusetts - 1963 - 1967
School of Drama, Yale University: New Haven , Connecticut - 1967 - 1970
Emerson College: Boston , Massachusetts - 1978

Notes

Served as honorary youth chairman for the Epilepsy Foundation in 1977.

Involved with Arts for the Handicapped (national committee), Toys for Tots (honorary chair) and Special Olympics

Served as President of the First Annual International Television Film Festival in Nice and received the festival's Golden Angel Award for "Happy Days"

Received three Emmy Award nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for "Happy Days"

He received the Humanitarian Award from Women in Film in 1988.

Awarded the Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government in 1996.

Winkler is dyslexic.

On being confused with his "Happy Days" character. "Cher called and invited me to one of her birthday parties years and years ago, and she said, 'Wait a minute, you don't sound like the Fonz.' I've lived through that. Look what the Fonz did for me. [There was] an autistic child who spoke her first word to me, which was 'Fonz'. The mother passed out. That alone is why you do what you do." --Henry Winkler to Entertainment Weekly, January 21, 1994.

"Here's my metaphor: When I'm producing, I'm holding sand in my arms. Directing, I try to get all that sand into one box. And when I'm acting, I get to play in the sand." --Henry Winkler quoted in Daily News , July 11, 1997.

Actor, director and producer Winkler on his preference: "Acting is my favorite. I love it. I love it. I want to do more. I love it." --quoted in Los Angeles Times, November 6, 1998.

"I would do another series in a minute. It's one of the great ways to earn a living. You have fun. You create a second family. You get home for dinner." --Winkler to Los Angeles Times, November 6, 1998.

"The good fortune of my success as an actor has afforded me the luxury of being able to develop, produce, and in an interesting number of instances, direct projects I feel are worthwhile and that I would like to see on the screen. Success, to me, is making a positive contribution. My goal is to infuse and maintain a level of integrity into every project I undertake--to be true to myself and to the things in which I believe." --quoted in the Disney Channel press notes for "So Weird", 1999.

Winkler on fame: "[I]f you're not in charge, it can creep in and pervert you without your missing a beat. I'm so happy that I was twenty-seven and not seventeen, because, boy, do I understand how you believe you can walk on water. There are a lot of bruised bananas rolling through this town. I was a lucky one." --quoted in Details, March 1999.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Stacey Winkler. Born c. 1948; married on May 5, 1978; was previously married to Howard Weitzman with whom she had a son Jed; mother of Winkler's two children.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Harry Irving Winkler. Executive. Emigrated to USA from Germany in 1939; was president of an international lumber company until his death in 1995;.
mother:
Ilse Anna Maria Winkler. Worked with husband in the lumber business; born c. 1913; emigrated to USA in 1939; died of a heart attack in NYC on September 22, 1999.
sister:
Bea Winkler. Born c. 1940; on board of Gilda's Club.
step-son:
Jed Weitzman. Production assistant. Born in June 1971; father, Howard L Weitzman; mother, Stacy Winkler; worked on "Saturday Night Live" (1994).
daughter:
Zoe Emily Winkler. Born on September 30, 1980.
son:
Max Daniel Winkler. Born on August 18, 1983.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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