HomeAmerican EntertainmentHenry Winkler Reveals His Thoughts on Retiring Following Final Season of ‘Barry’

Henry Winkler Reveals His Thoughts on Retiring Following Final Season of ‘Barry’

by Joe Rutland
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(Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)

If you were expecting Henry Winkler to slow down as soon as Barry wraps its fourth and final season, then think again. Winkler has no inclinations around retiring from being an actor just yet. According to him, there is no timeline around retirement. Winkler, 77, won his first Primetime Emmy Award in 2018 for playing Gene Cousineau in Barry.

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“I have no license for that,” Winkler told PEOPLE of his future plans at the season 4 premiere of Barry in Los Angeles on Sunday. “I just have that feeling. (And) I will stop when I have to stop.”

Barry stars Bill Hader in the lead role of this dark comedy series. It has secured Winkler three Emmy nominations, including most recently at this year’s awards. He says the show ranks just as high for him as his previous career-altering roles — like Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli in Happy Days.

Henry Winkler Calls ‘Barry’ Role Of Gene Cousineau ‘A Gift From The Heavens’

“This has got to be right up there,” Henry Winkler says of his role as the acting teacher and mentor. “I mean, oh my goodness. This was a gift from the heavens. Truly.”

Winkler’s acted in quite a few different shows since getting his start as Fonzie on the hit sitcom Happy Days in 1974. He says that it’s the constant challenge of understanding a character that keeps the joy in acting for him all these years later.

“It’s the puzzle,” he tells PEOPLE of his career. “Taking all these pieces and making a human being. Every scene, every year, it is the puzzle.” Barry‘s impressive slate of cast members doesn’t hurt, either. “It takes you to another place,” Winkler says of working alongside Hader, Anthony Carrigan, Sarah Goldberg, and more. “Being on this show, it gives you a tremendous amount of pride,” Winkler adds.

Bill Hader Directs All Eight Episodes Of ‘Barry’s Final Season on HBO

For the show’s fourth and final season, Hader — who stars as the titular hitman Barry who finds a new community in an L.A. theater group — added to his plate by directing all eight episodes of the show on top of serving as its co-creator and executive producer.

“This is where Bill wanted to be,” Winkler tells PEOPLE of the series star. “Saturday Night Live was a deviation from his dream and I watched him from the very first season to now. He directed all eight. He is the creator, producer, writer, actor, and now director of all of them. Not a ripple in the water. Not a moment where you think, ‘Oh my God, he’s stressed. I’m stressed. Oh my Lord.'”

Winkler, who also appeared in Arrested Development, praised Hader, 44, as “instantly funny,” adding, “Oh my God, I adore him.”