‘Happy Days’: How Henry Winkler’s Fonzie Saved a Young Man’s Life

by Joe Rutland

Watching classic TV shows like Happy Days is fun to do and the actors are doing their job, yet what happens when life happens? There are moments when people want to talk with their favorite celebrities and their characters. It probably did take place more than once for Henry Winkler. As you know, Winkler played Fonzie on the ABC sitcom. One time, it happened to be Fonzie, or Winkler himself, who would help save a young man’s life.

Tom Bosley, who played Howard Cunningham, talks about the situation in an interview with the Television Academy Foundation. Bosley is reflecting back on what type of effect the show had. He then begins to share about what Arthur Fonzarelli and Winkler would do.

Tom Bosley of ‘Happy Days’ Said Henry Winkler Spoke With Kid For 20 Minutes

“One time I’ll never forget,” he said. “We were rehearsing a show and the phone rang. And it was the police in Indianapolis, Indiana, that a kid was on a roof of a jail and was going to kill himself. And wanted to talk to Fonzie. Henry talked to him for 20 minutes. We just stopped doing everything we were doing and they got him down. He came down. And we had that a lot.”

What an amazing story from Bosley, who later would star in The Father Dowling Mysteries. But that simple reflection back upon the power of a character like Fonzie remains incredible. The fact that a young kid would change his direction and course over chatting with his favorite TV character says a lot. Winkler, who has also gone on to be a children’s book author and Emmy winner, was a star in the 1970s on Happy Days.

Winkler Shares Interesting Story About The Leather Jacket Fonzie Wore

Everyone who has seen that character knows it has an iconic black, leather jacket. It appears to be one of the most remembered pieces of the Fonzie wardrobe. One time, Winkler explained the history of the jacket that he wore pretty much every episode. “The first leather jacket was stolen,” Winkler told ABC talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “And then they made me five, six actually, and put them under lock and key.”

The actor adds that one of them is in the Smithsonian Institute and that late Happy Days creator and producer Garry Marshall had one, too. Winkler said he had two and one of them had the lining ripped out of it. That happened to be for the famed episode where Fonzie was water skiing. Some fans might recall that this episode would bring about the term “jump the shark.”