Henry Winkler is best known as television's "Fonzie", also
know as (AKA) Arthur Fonzarelli, of Happy Days. Though most
relate to him from his television role of many years, he is
a well-educated man who struggles with dyslexia. He says of
his childhood "I grew up with a high level of low self-
Winkler is the son of immigrant parents who expected him to
join the family saw mill business. Even as a child Henry
saw roles on stage as the key to happiness. Often he and
his parents were in conflict. "There was no meeting of the
souls." Though his teachers and other school professionals
who worked with him defined him as a boy who really did not
apply himself to his work, Winkler came to know his own
Evidence of that strength is his distinguished acting,
directing and producing career in both television and
films. For an actor, reading is essential. He has been able
to work around his learning weakness to develop his
strengths. He has won Golden Globe and Emmy awards for his
acting. He has produced many films about families and how
they cope ("PBS Happily Ever After, and the sequel, "Two
Daddies to Love Me"; directed and produced "All the Kids Do
It",an Emmy Award-winning CBS Schoolbreak Special about
He also is the father of three who has learned when to let
go and when to be the "strictie" as his children define it.
Winkler and his wife, Stacey, are also active in other many
other areas of humanitarian activities. They have been
recognized for their efforts on behalf of children by B'nai
Brith and the United Nations.
Winkler earned his bachelor's degree from Emerson College
in Boston, Mass., with a dual major in drama and child
psychology. He studied abroad and then came back to earn
his master's degree at Yale University in drama.
Beyond the television and film industry, Winkler's
interests often focus on the needs of young people. A
founding member of the Children's Action Network, he also
has worked to help the national Infant Immunization
Project, Toys for Tots, and the MacLaren Children's Center
(for abused children) in Los Angeles. He also has worked
extensively to educate about the needs of children with
learning disabilities. He states "Because of my character
on Happy Days I was asked to narrate a film for students
with learning disabilities in 1976. It was
called â€śEverybody has a Songâ€ť. Of course I wanted to help
these poor kids with this problem! So as Iâ€™m reading the
narration into a tape recorder, it started to dawn on me.
Iâ€™m not lazy. Iâ€™m not stupid. Iâ€™M DYSLEXIC!!! Who knew?
Nobody knew when I was growing up."