Henry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI Visit

  • Mr. Ford Mohr IV
  • July 10, 2024 04:03am
  • 134

Henry Winkler reflects on his iconic role as the Fonz on "Happy Days" and shares surprising experiences, including an unexpected visit by the FBI. He discusses the challenge of fame and the impact it had on his friendship with Ron Howard.

Henry Winkler, best known for his iconic portrayal of Fonzie in "Happy Days," recently shared some of the surprising and unexpected experiences he encountered during his time on the show. In an interview on the "SmartLess" podcast, Winkler recalled a time when the FBI showed up at his home, leaving him apprehensive.

"I was sitting in my apartment listening to Dan Fogelberg on my rented Victrola when there was a knock at the door," Winkler said. "When I opened it, there were three men with badges. I thought to myself, 'Oh no, they're here for the weed.'"

Henry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI Visit

Henry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI Visit

To his surprise, the FBI agents explained that they were not there for any illegal activities but simply wanted to meet the Fonz. Winkler was relieved and amused by the unexpected visit.

Fame brought other surprises as well. Winkler described how fans would often come to his apartment and ask him to sign unusual body parts. "It was a little overwhelming at times," he said.

Henry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI Visit

Henry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI Visit

One of the biggest challenges Winkler faced was the unexpected popularity of his character, which threatened to overshadow Ron Howard's role as Richie Cunningham, the show's original protagonist. Winkler's character quickly became a fan favorite, and his popularity tested the friendship between the two actors.

"I was worried about how Ron would feel," Winkler said. "But he was very gracious and supportive. He told me that I wasn't letting it go to my head and that I was a great team player."

Henry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI Visit

Henry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI Visit

Despite Howard's understanding, Winkler remained concerned about the impact on their friendship. "It still hurt my feelings a bit," he said. "But I knew that this was his dream, to be a filmmaker."

In 1980, Howard shocked Winkler by announcing that he would be leaving "Happy Days" to pursue his directing ambitions. "I was devastated," Winkler admitted. "He was my acting partner, and I didn't know what the show would be without him."

Henry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI Visit

Henry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI Visit

Howard explained that he had been feeling disrespected by the network and needed to move on. Winkler was supportive of his decision, even though it left him with a sense of uncertainty.

"I told him to go out there and get it because that's what he wanted," Winkler said. "He said he would never forget those words because they were an impetus for him."

Henry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI Visit

Henry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI Visit

Today, Winkler and Howard remain close friends. Winkler is the godfather of Howard's daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard. "There are no hard feelings," Winkler emphasized. "I'm just happy that he went on to achieve his dreams."

Winkler's experiences on "Happy Days" taught him valuable lessons about the challenges and surprises of fame. He embraced the unexpected twists and turns of his career and cherished the friendships he formed along the way.

Henry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI Visit

Henry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI Visit

Henry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI VisitHenry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI VisitHenry Winkler on the Surprises of Fame and the Unexpected FBI Visit
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