Document 56906

Actor, Author, Producer & Director
“How do you measure a man? Is it by the things he owns, by the company he
keeps or by the lengths he would go to get what he wants? If there can be any
truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives to
others.” Such a man is Henry Winkler.
Actor, director, producer and author are
words often used to describe Henry Winkler.
Born in New York City on October 30,
1945, Henry began performing at the age of
14. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama
in 1970, he moved back to New York to
make his mark on Broadway, but decided
to give television a try and headed to Los
Angeles in 1973. He quickly found work in
commercials and landed several guest spots
on sitcoms including The Mary Tyler Moore
Show and The Bob Newhart Show, but an
audition in October of that year changed his
life forever.
Producer Garry Marshall and Tom Miller
cast Winkler (on his birthday) in the role of
Arthur Fonzarelli, aka The Fonz or Fonzie in
the TV series, Happy Days. The ABC series
was one of the most popular sitcoms from
1974 – 1984. During his 10 years on Happy
Days, Henry won two Golden Globe Awards
and was nominated three times for an Emmy
Award. He was honored with a “star” on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame and the leather
jacket the character wore has hung in The
Smithsonian since 1980. “Fonzie’s” lunch
box was recently added to the exhibit.
Henry’s portrayal of “The Fonz,” made him
one of the most recognized actors in the
world and an international star...a status he
still maintains to this day.
But while Happy Days and “The Fonz”
continue to live in the past thanks to cable
television, Henry Winkler lives very much
in the present and this past year has been no
It’s hard to believe that Henry Winkler has
been working in the entertainment industry
for more than 30 years.
Speech Topics
A Conversation with
Henry Winkler
Happy Days made Henry Winkler a TV star,
but the actor was able to make his mark in
films as well. When the series was on hiatus,
Henry was able to star in a number of feature
films including The Lords of Flatbush, Heroes,
The One and Only and Night Shift, which
was directed by his co-star Ron Howard.
After Happy Days ended, Henry began to
concentrate on producing and directing.
To date, he has produced over 20 TV series
and specials including MacGyver, (seven
seasons) So Weird, Mr. Sunshine, Sightings,
(seven seasons), A Family Again, All Kids
Do It, Ryan’s Four, Scandal Sheet with Burt
Lancaster and the ABC documentary, Who
Are the DeBolts and Where Did They Get 19
Kids?, which won the prestigious Humanitas
He also directed several movies including
Memories of Me, starring Billy Crystal and
the late Alan King and Cop and a Half,
starring Burt Reynolds.
In the 1990’s he returned to acting in a
variety of roles. In Absolute Strangers, he
In June 2010, Henry joined the cast of the
USA Network series, Royal Pains, as Eddie R.
Lawson, the charming but long absent conartist father of the show’s two stars, played by
Mark Feuerstein and Paulo Constanzo.
Henry also joined the ensemble cast of
Cartoon Network’s first live-action comedy,
Children’s Hospital. He plays hospital
administrator, Sy Mittleman. Children’s
Hospital is a satirical comedy television series
about the medical show genre, created by
and starring actor/comedian Rob Corddy
and also stars Megan Mullally, Lake Bell,
Ken Marino, Erinn Hayes, Ron Huebel
and Malin Akerman. In Spring 2012 he also
co-starred with Kevin James and Salma Hayek
in Here Comes The Boom, a comedy about the
world of extreme wrestlers.
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Actor, Writer, Producer & Director
played a husband forced to decide between his comatose wife
and unborn child. He co-starred with Katherine Hepburn in
the holiday TV movie, One Christmas, which was her last film.
And he returned to series TV in the short-lived comedy series,
In 1998, one of Henry’s good friends, Adam Sandler, asked
him to play a supporting role in The Waterboy. Over the next
10 years, he appeared in three other Sandler films, Click, Little
Nicky and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.
Some of his other film credits include Holes, I Could Never Be
Your Woman, Down to You and Heroes.
Television called again in the late 1990’s and Henry landed
a guest role in the ABC drama series, The Practice, for which
he was nominated for an Emmy Award. In 2003, he was cast
for a guest role on the critically acclaimed Fox sitcom, Arrested
Development. The character was so well received that it became
a recurring role and Henry stayed on the show for 2-1/2 years.
That was followed by a starring role in the CBS sitcom, Out
of Practice.
Among his most notable credits are guest-starring roles on
series such as Numb3rs. (5 episodes) The Bob Newhart Show,
Third Watch, (3 episodes), Crossing Jordan, Law and Order SVU
and the Hallmark Channel holiday movie, The Most Wonderful
Time of the Year. He also lent his voice to such shows as South
Park, King of the Hill, Family Guy, The Simpsons and Clifford:
The Puppy Years for which he received an Emmy Award.
In 1999, Henry starred in the world premiere of Neil Simon’s
The Dinner Party at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
He co-star was his good friend, (the late) John Ritter. An
engagement in 2000 at the Eisenhower Theatre at the Kennedy
Center in Washington, D.C. led to its Broadway run and in
2001, Henry finally returned to Broadway after an absence
of 30 years. It was a lifelong dream come true for the actor.
His first role on Broadway lasted only one night. He was
determined to return to the Broadway stage one day for more
than one performance. The Dinner Party ran for close to a year
in New York and the cast won the Outer Critics Circle Special
Achievement Award for Best Ensemble.
JZM also produced several children’s specials including the
ABC Afterschool Special Run, Don’t Walk, and the CBS
Schoolbreak Special, All the Kids Do It, about teenage drunk
driving, which was directed by Henry. The special won the
Daytime Emmy for Best Children’s Program.
In 1987, Henry teamed with Ann Daniel, former ABC Vice
President of Series Development/Primetime Entertainment to
produce A Family Again, which aired in 1988. The one-hour
special, starring real-life husband and wife, Michael Tucker
and Jill Eikenberry, about a family trying to recapture some
semblance of a normal life following the death of their eldest
daughter, was moved from an ABC Afterschool Special to a
primetime special when the network saw the finished product
– only the second time that ABC has done such a thing.
Their 1991 project The UFO Report: Sightings for the Fox
Television Network proved to be a ratings winner and ran
successfully for seven seasons.
Henry was also active, yet ironically least recognized, for his
theatrical film production. The critical and box office success
of The Sure Thing, starring John Cusack and Daphne Zuniga
and directed by Rob Reiner changed that perception. Young
Sherlock Holmes followed and was produced in association with
Steven Spielberg’s Amblin’ Productions.
In 2003, Henry’s career took yet another turn. He added
“author” to his long list of accomplishments. He began writing
a series of children’s novels with his partner, Lin Oliver, for
Penguin Putnam entitled, Hank Zipzer: The World’s Greatest
Under-Achiever. The books were inspired by Henry’s struggle
throughout his education due to his learning challenges. “I
In 2004, Henry returned to producing and put together a
new version of the old game show, Hollywood Squares with his
partner, Michael Levitt. The pair also produced The Happy
Day’s 30 Year Reunion Special, The Dallas Celebration Reunion,
Knots Landing Reunion and Dynasty Reunion: Catfights and
As the father of three,
Henry has always
about the quality of
children’s television
three children: Jed,
Zoe and Max and
founded in 1983,
created worthwhile
projects for a young
audience. Happily Ever After was an animated special for PBS’s
Wonderworks series in 1985 and dealt with a young girl coming
to terms with her parent’s divorce. A sequel, Two Daddies to
Love Me, aired on PBS in 1989.
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437 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10016
(212) 645-4200
[email protected]
Actor, Writer, Producer & Director
had trouble reading books, so I never imagined I could write
one,” he said when asked about the success of the Hank Zipzer
series. All 17 novels of the series are in bookstores across the
United States and most recently have become popular in Great
Britain. The Hank Zipzer series has appeared on several Best
Seller lists including the New York Times and have sold more
than 3 million copies.
Continuing his love for children’s books, he released the first installment of a new series in January 2012 entitled Ghost Buddy #1: Zero to
Hero. The story follows the new kid in school as his friend Hoover, a
ghost, helps him overcome an obnoxious bully.
In 2011 he published a collection of anecdotes and heartfelt observations I Never Met an Idiot on the River. The book is a collection of the
lessons and photos Winkler gathered while fly fishing in Montana.
In 2006, Henry was asked to play the role of Captain Hook
in the holiday pantomime production of Peter Pan at the
New Wimbledon Theatre in London. He reprised the role
in Woking, England for Christmas 2007. For the 2008-2009
seasons, the play moved to the Milton Keyes Theatre. This year
Henry will don the hook once again at the Liverpool Empire.
Henry has always believed in helping others. His work with
children knows no boundaries. The list of groups with which
he is associated is as long as his resume of acting credits.
It includes Honorary Chairman of United Friends of the
Children (support group for MacLaren Children’s Center, a
facility for abused children in Los Angeles); Founding Member
of the Children’s Action Network, an organization composed of
entertainment industry leaders dedicated to raising the profile
of children’s issues through the media; co-host of the annual
Cerebral Palsy Telethon; the first National Honorary Chairman
of the Epilepsy Foundation of America; National Chairman of
the annual Toys for Tots campaign; the National Committee
for Arts for the Handicapped; the Special Olympics; the Los
Angeles Music Center’s Very Special Arts Festival for children
who are physically challenged and numerous teenage alcohol
and drug abuse programs.
Henry was honored in July 2010 by the World Association of
Newspapers and News Publishers for his work with the British
government on the “My Way!” Campaign – an educational
initiative focused on raising awareness for children with
learning challenges throughout the United Kingdom.
Henry recently returned from Washington, D.C. where he
was one of 10 individuals honored by AARP with their 2010
Inspire Award. Henry is lending his star power to help the
estimated 1 million Americans affected by the condition Open
Arms: Raising Awareness of Upper Limb Spasticity, which
highlights a promising new treatment using Botox. His own
mother suffered from the condition for 10 years. Among those
honored with Henry who received AARP’s highest honor were
Tony Danza, Lisa Niemi Swayze, Joy Behar, Elizabeth Warren
and Dr. Maya Angelou.
Of all the titles he has received, the ones he relishes most are
husband, father and most recently grandfather. Henry and
Stacey have three children, Jed, Zoe and Max. Jed and his wife
recently became parents of a daughter, Indya. The Winklers
reside in Los Angeles with their two dogs, Charlotte and Linus.
Henry has worked tirelessly to bring awareness and support to
children who learn differently by advocating for changes in the
educational system and informing parents and teachers about
learning challenges.
His own challenges with learning – the diagnosis of dyslexia
came when he was 30 – led him to send this message to
children coping with their own learning difficulties: “no matter
how you learn, it has nothing to do with your brilliance. You
have greatness inside of you.” The great Austrian Jewish author
Theodor Herzl said, “If you will it, it is not a dream.”
Never asking to be recognized for his personal commitment
to helping others, Henry’s efforts have not gone unnoticed.
His has received a number of accolades from a variety of
prestigious organizations including the Champion of Youth by
B’nai B’rith, Peace Prize by the United Nations and Women
in Film’s Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award presented to
both Henry and his wife, Stacey, for their tireless efforts and
devotion to the “improvement of the human condition.” They
both also received the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Support
Group Service’s Helping Hand Award in 1985 in recognition
for all they have
done for the children
of Los Angeles. In
June of 1996, Henry
received the Chevallier
de l’Ordre des Artes
et Lettres, the French
Government’s highest
Last year,
her Majesty Queen
Elizabeth II awarded
Honorary Officer of the
Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition
of his services to children with special education needs.
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437 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10016
(212) 645-4200
[email protected]