Henry Winkler co-stars as acting teacher Gene Cousineau on the hit HBO dark comedy, “Barry.” This past September, he was the recipient of the Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy for his role on the series which stars Emmy-award winning actor, Bill Hader.
Winkler has enjoyed over four decades of success in Hollywood and continues to be in demand as an actor, producer and director.
A 1973 audition in Los Angeles forever changed the life of the Yale School of Drama graduate when producer Garry Marshall and Tom Miller cast Winkler in the iconic role of Arthur Fonzarelli, aka “The Fonz,” in the TV series “Happy Days.’ During his 10 years on the popular sitcom, he won two Golden Globe Awards, was nominated three times for an Emmy Award and was also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Both his famous leather jacket and Fonzie’s lunch box became part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum in 1980.
In recent years, Winkler appeared in a number of series, including “Arrested Development,” “Children’s Hospital,” “Royal Pains.” “New Girl” and “Parks and Recreation.” He also starred and co-executive produced the NBC Reality travel series, “Better Late Than Never,” with William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw, George Foreman and Jeff Dye and is an executive producer of the new “MacGyver” series currently airing its second season on CBS.
His guest role in the ABC series “The Practice” earned him an Emmy Award nomination and he also starred in the CBS sitcom “Out of Practice.” His guest-star roles have included “Numb3rs,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Third Watch,” “Crossing Jordan” and “Law and Order: SVU,” and the Hallmark Channel holiday movie “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” He has lent his voice to such shows as “All Hail King Julien” on Netflix, “South Park,” “King of the Hill,” “Family Guy,” “The Simpsons” and “Clifford: The Puppy Years,” for which he received a Daytime Emmy Award.
On the big screen, Winkler starred in “Night Shift,” “Here Comes the Boom,” “The Waterboy,” “Click,” “The Lords of Flatbush,” “Heroes,” “Holes” and “Scream.”
Behind the scenes he has also made his mark as a producer and director. Winkler has executive produced or produced TV series and specials for 19 years, including “MacGyver,” “So Weird,” “Mr. Sunshine,” “Sightings,” “A Family Again,” “All Kids Do It,” (which won him a Daytime Emmy Award), “Ryan’s Four,” “Scandal Sheet” and the ABC documentary “Who Are the DeBolts and Where Did They Get 19 Kids?,” which won the prestigious Humanitas Prize.
He also directed several movies, including “Memories of Me,” starring Billy Crystal and the late Alan King and “Cop and a Half,” starring the late Burt Reynolds. On stage, Winkler has appeared on Broadway in “Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party” (with the late John Ritter) and “The Performers.”
Winkler has always been concerned about the quality of children’s television programming. He has produced countless worthwhile projects for young audiences, including “Happily Ever After” for PBS and its sequel, “Two Daddies to Love Me.” Additional specials include “Run, Don’t Walk,” and “All the Kids Do It,” which was about teenage drunk driving which he also directed.
Winkler is also a New York Times best-selling author. His first book, “Niagara Falls or Does It? Hank Zipzer the World’s Greatest Under-Achiever,” became a bestseller. The books were inspired by Winkler’s struggle throughout his education due to his learning challenges.
To date, he and his co-author, Lin Oliver, have written 34 children’s novels. Their latest is HERE’S HANK: Robot on the Loose. All the books are sold in bookstores and online across the United States and have been published around the world in seven languages, with more than 4 million copies sold.
Winkler has always believed in helping others and is especially passionate about children.
He has been a featured speaker at WE Day Celebrations promoting education and service for students. His work also includes Honorary Chairman of United Friends of the Children; Founding Member of the Children’s Action Network; 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; and the Los Angeles Music Center’s Very Special Arts Festival for children who are physically challenged; as well as participating in numerous teenage alcohol and drug abuse programs.
He has received a number of accolades from a variety of prestigious organizations, including 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.”
He also received the Chevallier de l’Ordre des Artes et Lettres, the French government’s highest honor. In addition, Winkler was one of 10 individuals honored by AARP with their 2010 Inspire Award. In 2011 he was awarded the Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) from the Queen of England in recognition of his services to children with dyslexia and special education needs.
Of all the titles he has received, the ones he relishes most are husband, father and grandfather. Winkler and his wife have three children, Jed, Zoe and Max, and five grandchildren. They reside in Los Angeles.