‘Happy Days’ Star Henry Winkler’s First Emmy Award Win Will Shock You

by Craig Garrett

With a career that spans five decades, Henry Winkler is a bedrock of classic tv, but he only recently won his first Emmy. It’s tough to believe the iconic Fonz on Happy Days didn’t win the coveted award until 2018. It was at the 70th annual Emmy Awards when Winkler finally won for best supporting actor in a comedy series. It was for his portrayal of Gene Cousineau in HBO’s Barry. The Television Academy shared the big moment on their Youtube channel.

After a standing ovation, Hery Winkler began a speech he claimed to have written decades ago. “I only have 37 seconds. I wrote this 43 years ago,” he said. “Can I just say [his agent] Skip Brittenham said to me a long time ago, ‘If you stay at the table long enough, the chips come to you,’ and tonight I got to clear the table.

Henry Winkler then went on to praise the creators of the series. “If you get a chance to work with Bill Hader or Alec Berg, run don’t walk. Thank you for producing us, for creating us, for directing us and for Bill for acting with us, and for all of our wonderful writers.” The enthused actor then thanked his adult children. “Kids, kids! Jed, Zoe and Max, you can go to bed now. Daddy won!”

Henry Winkler was always a bridesmaid at the Emmys for years

This was the sixth time Winkler was nominated for an Emmy. His role as Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on Happy Days earned him three Emmy Award nominations. Those were for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series. Winkler was nominated for an Emmy in the outstanding informative program category for Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids? He was also nominated for an Emmy in the outstanding guest actor in a drama series category. This was for his work on The Practice in 2000.

Many know Winkler first from his roles on more recent shows like Parks and Recreation, Arrested Development and Children’s Hospital. Of course, Henry Winkler continues to have incredible success playing disgruntled acting instructor Gene Cousineau on HBO’s dramedy Barry. Winkler earned another Emmy nomination for the role this year.

Henry Winkler recently opened up about the character’s evolution on Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast. “I think the umbrella for Season 3 is, can a person change? It was a question Bill asked me in a scene in Season 2. And now it is for all of the characters,” Winkler told Variety. “Is there atonement?” Season 3 of Barry turned an already dark comedy pitch black. He said that each day after shooting the series, he would “go home and have visited a land that was never in my imagination.”