I cannot see another actor playing that role, but Henry Winkler doesn't exactly look like the type that would be the cool, hip ladies man who could beat guys to a pulp and command respect from everyone. He was short, stocky and, while he was good looking, he was not drop dead hunky. Was the part actually written for a tall, built, pin-up type of actor, but when Henry auditioned he was just so good that they had to hire him?
They wanted Micky Dolenz for the part.
That should tell you everything right there.
In real life he was nothing like Fonzie. He was reserved and Jewish.
He was more like the guy he played in "Night Shift" I think.
It was hard to buy him in that role - only time wore everyone down into acceptance.
I never knew they considered Dolenz for the role.
It had to be the hair that got him the role. I never noticed how luxurious it is until this photo.
Over the years, I keep reading that he's a very nice, kind person. On DL, no less.
We love him in the UK. He doesn't just do panto, he does brilliant social work.
I think his looks gave the character a slightly cartoonish appearance and it made it seem like it was all right to laugh at him, as long as you respected him. Fonzie wasn't a jerk with it, he was a nice guy. He was nice to Richie Cunningham. I think it played well with children. He was the Jim Parsons of his day.
Henry delivered one of the most powerful "sad moments" in sitcom history with this touching scene of The Fonz losing it when he thinks Richie might die. He was robbed of an Emmy for this one.
I just read his IMDb bio and he's quoted as saying he left "Turner and Hooch" because he didn't get along with Tom Hanks. Very interesting. Wonder what this was about.
When Winkler was cast, the Fonz was intended to be a minor supporting character. He didn't even appear in the opening credits in the first season. But Fonzie was popular with the audience, so he was bumped up to become a major character and also became more cartoonish.
I always thought a real Fonzie would be someone that looked like John Travolta or Matt Dillon.
Henry Winkler story. When I was a little girl, I was obsessed with The Fonz & Happy Days. I thought he was the coolest thing ever. I was all Fonzie, all the time. He was my first celebrity crush -- really, my first crush, period. My father was an exec at Paramount and friends with Garry Marshall, so I had all sorts of autographed press stills, and I even had a license plate on my bicycle that said The Fonz.
When I was 9, my dad took me and one of my best friends (a boy who was similarly Fonzie obsessed) to watch Happy Days being filmed. Afterward, we went down on the set -- I met Ron Howard, Erin Moran, Tom Bosley & Marion Ross. I was already in heaven, when Henry walked up and greeted my dad. He then bent down, took my hand, and smiled at me, and said, "Hello Katie, it's such a pleasure to meet you! I hear you're my #1 fan!" I was completely agog. I think I said "yes" but who the hell knows. He asked us if we liked the episode, thanked us for coming, etc. And then it happened....he said good bye and leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.
I literally SWOONED. I felt myself rock back on my heels, and into my father who was standing behind me -- if he hadn't been there, I would have fallen straight over. Everyone laughed, including Henry, and he said, "You're adorable! Please come back and see me again."
I was over the fricken moon! And the best part (from a nine year old perspective) was that I had a witness! When we back to school on Monday, I told everyone that The Fonz had kissed me -- and I had my friend John to back me up. For a week, I was the coolest kid in third grade. LOL
I did go back a few times during Happy Days' run, and Henry was always so nice to me. Just an incredibly sweet man!
That part was MINE!!!
Great story, r12. Can u tell us more about the other cast members u met? Which episode was taped
Greatest visual in a sitcom ever?
Could be Henry Winkler jumping over a real shark on "Arrested Development."
Plus he is outrageously funny in his role as a lawyer on the show.
Henry Winkler is one of the nicest guys in showbiz, I've been told.
Great story R12!
The man doesn't have a mean or pretentious bone in his body. He gladly goes to Milwaukee to throw out a ball at a Brewers game or be the grand marshall of a parade or whatever. Not like some stars who "move on" and think they're above their humble beginnings. He's just DECENT.
R14, all I remember about the plot of that episode was that Fonzie had to appear in court, for some reason, and the Cunninghams all came to his defense. The swoon-inducing cheek-kiss happened on that courtroom set.
I remember that all the actors were nice. Ron Howard was polite, but like, okay, whatever, bye! Tom Bosley & Marion Ross were very warm. Erin Moran was the one who was especially nice to me, and John, after Henry -- asking us what grade we were in & where we went to school (we were wearing our school uniforms).
What was sort funny..... several years down the road, I ended up going to the same prep school with Tom Bosley's & Garry Marshall's daughters. Bosley's was a year ahead of me, and Garry Marshall's younger daughter was a year behind me. We played on both the basketball & softball teams together, so I saw Garry a lot during high school. He was marvelous! I LOVED him! He was just SO FUNNY, the way he would razz the refs. After I took a particularly hard foul that sent me into the bleechers, and out of the game -- but the foul was called on ME -- he stood and bellowed at the refs, "Not only do you have NO heart, you've got NO EYES!"
He briefly dated my cousin when he was a student at Yale Drama School. My cousin, who was not a student at Yale, but at another school, was close to a fellow classmate (female) at Yale and through her, she met Henry.
She remained in touch with him even after they parted. One time Henry picked up my cousin at her aunt's house (also my aunt). My aunt's daughter, who was only 13, was there and Henry introduced himself to her. He was very charming so much so that he told my aunt that if her daughter (my then 13-year-old cousin) was a bit older, he'd take her out instead of my other cousin.
I cannot tell you how often this same cousin has told me this story.
"He was short, stocky and, while he was good looking, he was not drop dead hunky."
1) What doesn't have to be drop dead hunky to be considered very sexy.
2) A very large number of leading men in the movies are short. Often, on screen this is not even noticeable. Not to mention that a not insignificant number of people find short men attractive.
3) Stocky can be very nice on a man, and a great many people prefer it to lithe or at least are able to recognize that sexy men come in many, if not all, shapes.
r 21, you dipshit, stop taking it personally.
R21, I didn't say that anything was wrong with short 'n stocky--I just said that that's what he was. I actually like stocky myself.
Winkler was like 5'3" and a wuss. Even Potsie would've been able to kick his ass.
Anson Williams was hot.
He strikes me as someone that is almost too nice to be real. I heard a radio interview with a local DJ in Minneapolis, and he almost seemed fake nice. When he used to guest host for Steve Edwards on Good Day LA, he always seemed fake nice. Kind of putting Jillian down in a way... but we watched the show for the snark.
I'm not saying he isn't genuine, but I always take pause when people start a sentence with "I'm so blessed.." and then detail what they are blessed with.
Well, the real-life Fonzies aren't necessarily the attractive, appealing kids. In fact, they're often the outcasts, the kids your parents tell you to avoid for myriad reasons. They have the motorcyles, skip school and answer to no one.
They may even scare people with their cavalier attitude. This is often the source of their appeal.
The good-looking kids are usually the popular ones. So I think the Fonz, as a character, was cast perfectly.
I really liked the early Happy Days eps. Fonzie was better in the early ones also. The show went to hell once they added the live studio audience, who hooted every time Henry Winkler walked into a scene.
The character of Fonzie was originally intended to be of Irish background. Anyway, he was a nerd, hanging around with high school students.
Henry Winkler can be an asshole. He offered to help Joanie out but ONLY on his terms.
Giving gifts with strings attached makes you an uberass.
[quote]Henry Winkler can be an asshole. He offered to help Joanie out but ONLY on his terms.
Giving gifts with strings attached makes you an uberass.
Not wanting to be an enabler makes a person an uberass? Wasn't the "string" going to rehab? She would have drunk up all the money like she did her Happy Days court settlement.
Winkler was a close friend of John Ritter. I think he was involved with John's show 8 SIMPLE RULES.
He was guest starring on the show the week John Ritter died and was one of the last people to see him.
I do wonder about celebrities who are so nice. Are they fake or not? I think his desire to be liked is very genuine and stems from his father's rejection and harsh criticism over his dyslexia. Or if his father was so mean, he might be trying to be his opposite. Unless someone is a true asshole or a sociopath, I think most people at least try to be nice to a certain point. Winkler might just be so driven to be nice that he can't stop. Doesn't mean he isn't or that he's fake. Or that he expresses displeasure in indirect ways (is that what he did with Jillian?)
Granted -- by the second half of the series the teenagers all looked to be about 35 years old, but in retrospect, there is something creepy about how he was always seducing the high school (and college) girls. He did have charisma in those early seasons, so you can see why his part got elevated. It is too bad they went too far and made him Super Fonzie.
Wasn't he supposed to be a student (an infrequent attender/dropout) initially? I think he was only supposed to be a few years older than the others.
Fonzie became a pathetic character in the last few seasons of Happy Days as Winkler was approaching 40: a high school auto mechanics teacher who had lost whatever sexiness he might have once had, who was too old to be hanging out at Arnold's, and who spent his free time with Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham and Potsie (who also became a pathetic character in the final seasons) because they were the only people left who cared about him. Fonzie went from being a cool biker to a sad, middle-aged loser.
This morning, I saw Henry Winkler in a commercial for a reverse mortgage company.
I felt a bit sad for him. Yes, I know Robert Wagner and Fred Thompson have appeared in commercial for reverse mortgage providers; I also felt a bit sad for Wagner, not so much for Thompson.
There is no shame in a major star appearing in a television commercial. But still for a television icon like Winkler ...
I agree with R25
R37, if that was the only thing he was doing, I would be in agreement, but he's on Comedy Central's "Children's Hospital" and has been on USA's "Royal Pains" for at least two seasons. And Adam Sandler puts him in his movies (though, that's something to feel sorry for).
Wasn't Winkler appearing in a Broadway play with Alicia Silverstone.? I think it was a comedy about making heterosexual pornography?
Yes R40, but it flopped.
Henry had a great ass and hips. Not to bait the "is his ass womanly?" troll but, Henry's ass and hips were almost womanly.
Today I watched the Shark Jumping episode, and Fonzie is in short-shorts most of the episode, showing of nice thick gams and that ass. And later, he's in tight jeans showcasing the butt even more.
If you swap the word girl for boy then R12 story is much more amusing.
They wanted Lucy for the role but Gary talked her out of it. He was afraid she'd fall off the motorcycle and break a hip.
Fuck he was hot especially the first 1-2 years when he was skinny and had a little tight body with a tight ass. And his poster showed it all. I loved the days of wall posters. Sad they are gone.
Must! Find! That! Poster!
I used wait tables in college back during the years when Happy Days was on the air. Henry Winkler and his wife were semi-regulars in the restaurant and he was the nicest guy around. I met other celebs during that time and they were all self-absorbed asses. Winkler was the real deal. Very kind. Ron Howard was also very nice.
There was a photo of him when he was in his sexy prime sitting on a sofa with his barefeet up on a table, soles facing the camera. I jerked off to that photo for years until I lost the photo. I saw it floating around on the net a while back but forgot to save it. The guy had sexy SEXY feet.
Henry's even shorter than his dad, but just as hot.
Uma should be begging him.