Actor Henry Winkler remains iconic for his role as Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli in the 1970s classic TV show, “Happy Days.” And now, decades after the hit series’ conclusion, Winkler explained the history behind Fonzie’s iconic leather jacket. See what he says in the clip below; you can fast-forward to the 3-minute mark if you want to get right into its significance.
While speaking in a segment on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” we learn that, before Henry Winkler donned Fonzie’s iconic dark brown leather jacket, he actually boasted a cloth yellow jacket during the show’s first year. After that came the dark-brown garment we now know and love.
Interestingly, however, Winkler had more than one of those highly recognizable, and apparently highly desirable, brown jackets.
“The first leather jacket,” the “Happy Days” star said, “was stolen, and then they made me five, six actually, and put them under lock and key.”
Even more noteworthy, the actor shared one of those six leather jackets has a home in the Smithsonian. In addition, American actor, director, and screenwriter Garry Marshall had another of Fonzie’s jackets. Winkler reveals he had two of them.
In addition to possessing two of “Happy Days” most iconic wardrobe pieces, Kimmel also discussed with Henry Winkler the bike the actor supposedly rode. They also shared photos of a less traditional method of travel. Though I will let you watch the rest of the clip to see that interesting tidbit yourself.
Henry Winkler Reinvented Himself After ‘Happy Days’ Role
As we see above, the Fonzie actor remains a dynamic, engaging individual long after his hit TV sitcom. However, before sharing the interesting details of Fonzie’s iconic leather jacket, Henry Winkler revealed to Insider he once reinvented himself after concluding his time on “Happy Days.”
“Happy Days” aired for a decade, between 1974 and 1984. So when the show concluded, the actor believed comedy roles would have lined up following his time as Fonzie. Today, we love both the actor and his character. But Winkler realized that once the sitcom concluded, many people had a hard time separating him from Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli.
That said, he had a hard time finding acting roles outside of “Happy Days.”
From there, he went behind the camera, where he served as a director and producer for the popular series “MacGyver.”
While the Fonz didn’t score another acting role for quite a while, Henry Winkler spoke very positively about his career in Hollywood.
“You have to learn to find the strength in yourself to deal with [getting passed over], reinvent yourself, move on,” the “Happy Days” star said. He added, “If you’re supposed to have it, you will have it…If I look back from the time I arrived in Hollywood on the 18th of September 1973, I’ve had a most amazing career.”