Henry Winkler Biography
Henry Winkler is an American Emmy Award-winning comedian, author, executive producer, director, host, and actor. He is best known for playing the thumb-gesturing, a leather-jacket-wearing icon of cool, Arthur.
Henry Winkler Education
Winkler attended McBurney High School where he earned his High School Diploma in General Education. From there, he joined Emerson College and majored in theater and minored in child psychology, as he considered becoming a child psychologist if he did not succeed as an actor. In 1967, he obtained a Bachelor’s degree. While there, he was a member of the Alpha Pi Theta fraternity, and appeared in Emerson’s production of Peer Gynt as the title character. In 1978, Emerson College awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL).
He also received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama in 1970. In 1978, e earned an honorary Ph.D. in Hebrew Literature from Emerson College.
Henry Winkler Career
While growing up, he had a high level of low self-esteem. He struggled with academics throughout elementary school and high school, identifying it as dyslexia. His parents expected him to work with them at the lumber company but he had other plans as he saw roles on stage as the key to his happiness. He began acting in the eighth grade when he played the role of Billy Budd in the school play. Upon high school graduation, he was able to incorporate his learning disability and succeed in higher education.
He returned to acting in the early 1990s where he starred in the 1991 television film, Absolute Strangers, and in the short-lived 1994 television series Monty with David Schwimmer. In 1994, he also starred in the television film One Christmas, with Katharine Hepburn in her last role, and Swoosie Kurtz.
In 1996, he appeared in his friend Wes Craven’s 1996 film Scream as foul-mouthed high school principal Arthur Himbry. His role was uncredited, however, as the producers were concerned that he would only be seen as The Fonz, and thus distract from the film.
While working in television, he served as a host and executive producer for the 50-minute television version of the documentary, Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids? in 1978. The documentary was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Series or Special.
In addition to that, he served as an executive producer for the ABC Afterschool Special: Run, Don’t Walk in 1981. It was based on the novel of the same name by Harriet May Savitz, and featuring his Happy Days co-star, Scott Baio. He further directed Baio in the 13th episode of the Happy Days spin-off, Joanie Loves Chachi, also starring Erin Moran. He also served as a co-host for the Music for UNICEF Concert in 1979.
Henry Winkler Age
Winkler is 78 years old as of 2023. He was born on October 30, 1945, in New York, New York, United States. Winkler celebrates his birthday on the 30th of October every year.
Henry Winkler Height
Winkler stands at an approximate height of 5 feet 9 inches.
Henry Winkler Family
Winkler was born and raised in New York, New York, United States. He was raised by his mother, Ilse Anna Maria (Hadra), and his father Harry Irving Winkler were German Jewish immigrants who escaped the Holocaust by moving to the US in 1939. Winkler’s father was the president of an international lumber company and his mother worked alongside him.
Winkler has an older sister, Beatrice, and a cousin, Richard Belzer, an actor. During his childhood, the family spent their summers at Lake Mahopac, New York. He also worked as a water skiing instructor at Blue Mountain camps as a teenager.
Henry Winkler Wife
Winkler is married to his better half Stacey Furstman Weitzman. The two tied the knot in 1978 in the synagogue where he had his bar mitzvah. He met Stacey at a Los Angeles clothing store in 1976. Together they have two children, Max and Zoe. Stacey was previously married to Howard Weitzman and they were blessed with a son, Jed Weitzman, Winkler’s stepson.
Henry Winkler Net Worth
Winkler has an estimated net worth of $40 Million which he has earned from his successful career as a comedian, author, executive producer, director, and actor.
In 1973, he traveled to California where he was cast in a small role for The Mary Tyler Moore Show. After some time, he was auditioned for Happy Days and won the part of Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli. He played the role for the next ten years. Winkler has distinguished himself as a character actor after rising to fame as Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on the American television series Happy Days. He has played roles including Gene Cousineau in Barry, Al Pratt in Black Adam, Uncle Joe in The French Dispatch, Stanley Yelnats III in Holes, Fritz in Monsters at Work, Dr. Saperstein in Parks and Recreation, Eddie R. Lawson in Royal Pains, Barry Zuckerkorn in Arrested Development, Coach Klein in The Waterboy, and Arthur Himbry in Scream.
In addition to that, he was a reality television star on the NBC series, Better Late Than Never in 2016. He moved into producing and directing after the end of Happy Days. Winkler worked on programs such as Sightings and The Hollywood Squares and helped develop the original MacGyver television series. Furthermore, he directed the theatrical releases Cop and a Half with Burt Reynolds and Memories of Me with Billy Crysta.
Winkler realized that he was dyslexic during his time on Happy Days after after his stepson Jed was diagnosed with this learning disability. He only knew that aspects of memorizing and reading were difficult, but did not understand why. Winkler says, “as quickly as I could because I couldn’t read the page and act at the same time to make an impression on the casting person or on the director and the producers…and I improvised the rest. And when they said, ‘Well you’re not doing what’s written on the page,’ I said, ‘I’m giving you the essence of the character.” After he was diagnosed with Dyslexia, he made fun of it and covered it in humor.
Throughout his career, he has received several awards including a Critics Choice Award, two Golden Globe Awards, two Daytime Emmys, as well as a Primetime Emmy.
Winkler is also an author apart from his acting and producing career.His 2011 memoir, I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River, explores his interest in fly fishing. He also wrote, The Other Side of Henry Winkler: My Story (1976).
The following year, Winkler and Lin Oliver, his writing partner, created the Ghost Buddy book series (2012–2013), about the friendship between the protagonist Billy and a “ghost buddy.” They also wrote the science fiction trilogy Alien Superstar(2019–2021). The adventures of Alien Superstar’s protagonist are loosely based on Winker’s own experiences after arriving in Los Angeles as he, “left New York on September 18th, 1973.