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Old 03-28-2003, 09:19 AM   #1
PeggySue
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Default "Henry Pushing 60!"Current interview with Henry, in Toledo newspaper

Hi everyone! I thought you all would be interested in this article about Henry, just found it online today. Henry is such a sweetheart, and still very busy.

PeggySue

"Henry Winkler Pushing 60!" new interview online

Henry 'Fonz' Winkler, pushing 60, is now a family man

Friday, March 28, 2003

By ANN WEBER, Toledo Blade



It's as though the Fonz has turned into Richie's dad.

Henry Winkler who became a star as hip dropout Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli on the ABC sitcom Happy Days from 1974-1984 is Mr. Solid Citizen: a husband and father of three who supports charitable causes and juggles acting, producing, directing, and writing.

"I work seven days a week," says Winkler, 57, "without complaint."

One of his recent touring stops was a one-man show in Toledo, Ohio, a fundraiser for support programs for children with chronic illnesses and their families.

Most of Winkler's charitable projects involve children, an interest that developed well before he became a parent.

It started when he was in high school in New York, he said, when he worked as a counselor in after-school programs.

"I don't know why, but I relate better to children than anybody. Being dyslexic, when I was in school it was always difficult. I was always at the bottom of my class. I had very little self-esteem," said Winkler, who wasn't diagnosed with the learning disability until he was 31. He said that having to struggle made him sympathetic to children who face a challenge of any kind.

Professionally, many of his projects reflect a connection with children and young people as well. He said he's currently executive consultant for "Strange Days at Blake Holsey High," which airs Saturday mornings on Discovery Kids on NBC.

"It seems like a possessed high school," Winkler explained, "but every story is based on actual science."

Desks burst into flames, water runs up walls, and teachers disappear, setting up mysteries that five Holsey High teens investigate. Viewers just might learn something, "but it is first a wonderful entertainment," he added.

The executive producer of "Hollywood Squares" and "MacGyver" said he's also working on a "Young MacGyver" pilot for The WB, and will have two books published in May by Penguin Putnam.

The books are the beginning of a series of six, co-written with Lin Oliver, about "Hank Zizper, the World's Greatest Underachiever," Winkler said. Hank is a fourth-grader who happens to be dyslexic.

"I'm very proud of these books," Winkler said. "They are funny and emotional and really integrate the fact that this kid has a learning challenge."

Young readers who don't have dyslexia will find the books merely fun, he said. "For those kids that do, they'll see that 'I'm not alone,' because it really is from my life."

Winkler said he never imagined he'd be an author. "It was hard for me to read, let alone write," he pointed out.

"I thought I was just going to be an actor," Winkler said and even that got off to an uncertain start after he was cast as Fonzie on "Happy Days."

"I worked for one day a week in the beginning," he said. The Fonz was just a minor character at first, tossed in to add some edge to the story of Milwaukee high school pals Richie Cunningham and Warren "Potsie" Weber.

"Then all of the sudden it just took off," Winkler said. In time, he moved to second billing, behind Ron Howard, in the opening credits.

Winkler said he can't explain the character's popularity (the show has attracted viewers in 126 countries), nor its longevity (it lives on through Nick at Nite).

The role earned Winkler two Golden Globe awards for best actor in a comedy series and three Emmy nominations in the same category, and led to many more television and film roles.

And the Fonz hasn't done too badly, either his black leather jacket hangs in the Smithsonian.
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Old 03-28-2003, 09:31 AM   #2
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Thanks so much PeggySue! I love reading anything on the cast of HD. Henry is the type that will never slow down. It's good he is so active.
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Old 03-28-2003, 05:52 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting this! I love hearing anything about Henry.
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