‘Happy Days’ Star Henry Winkler Has Hilarious Reaction to Being on List of National Treasures

by Joe Rutland

After all these years of watching Henry Winkler on Happy Days, it might not be hard to believe that he’s a national treasure. The actor has been a part of many viewers’ lives for decades. Yes, it’s that long for some who grew up watching him play The Fonz on ABC. But the show has been a part of classic TV ever since entering syndication and the land of reruns. Bringing up the point that he is on a list of national treasures gets quite a response from the Yale-trained actor.

“No,” Winkler says jokingly in an ABC News interview. “Excuse me, I’m just gonna bask for a minute.” He says all of this while looking very amused. Winkler even looks down at his fingertips in a kind of actor’s way of doing it. Well, he is an actor after all! He was enjoying the interaction with the ABC reporter, too. “No, there’s a list? Can I just call my wife?” Again, all of this was said smiling and laughing so Winkler was having a good time here.

Henry Winkler of ‘Happy Days’ Fame Enjoying His Time on ‘Barry’

Don’t mind Winkler if he’s smiling a lot these days. He’s part of a hit HBO show titled Barry that stars himself as acting teacher Gene Cousineau. Winkler appears opposite the former Saturday Night Live cast member Bill Hader, who plays the lead role. We also learned in the ABC News interview that Winkler’s son Max, who is a director himself, directed Henry’s audition.

“I brought home the script,” Winkler says. “I said, ‘Would you look at it?’ I sat at my desk, he stood over my shoulder and literally yelled at me. I improvised, he said, ‘Respect the writer.’ He said, ‘You know there’s an exclamation point. You can get a little more angry.’ So when I went in, I had a handle on the material.” And his work on Barry would lead him to win an Emmy Award after all these years. People still connect him with his Happy Days castmates like Ron Howard, Anson Williams, Don Most, and Marion Ross. Winkler gets along with them all quite well. Hey, did you know that he’s the godfather of Bryce Dallas Howard, Ron’s daughter? It’s true. Bryce is quite an actress in her own right.

But Winkler is more than just an actor. Sometimes, you can find him fishing for trout in Idaho. Young people who know him as The Fonz might have even read his children’s books. In this ABC News interview, Winkler said that he’d written 39 children’s books with Lin Oliver. Obviously, there is still more to do for him and Barry keeps Winkler quite busy these days.