‘Happy Days’ Actor Henry Winkler Directed a Tom Hanks’ Film for 13 Days Before He Was Fired

by Anna Dunn

Happy Days actor Henry Winkler, who played the iconic Fonzie, directed a film starring Tom Hanks for 13 days before getting fired. Winkler was originally slated to direct Turner and Hooch before the producers fired him. Why exactly he was fired so soon is unclear though Winkler did have a bit of a feud with Tom Hanks in the 90s.

Whether or not the feud was the cause of Henry Winkler’s firing or came after it remains unclear. On his time directing Turner and Hooch, Winkler said in a 1993 interview, “Let’s just say. I got along better with Hooch than I did with Turner.”

On The Andy Cohen Show, He said of his firing that, “I was directing that movie for 13 days and then I was called into [producer] Jeff Katzenberg’s office and he said, ‘You have everything with you? Go home.'”

Luckily for Winkler, his career didn’t stop after that dissapointing firing.

Henry Winkler’s Continued Fame After Happy Days

Unlike some stars from shows in the 70s and 80s, Henry Winkler has done anything but leave the business. His continued comedic and dramatic work both in front of and behind the camera. He has kept fans entertained decades after Happy Days ended.

While Henry Winkler admitted it was initially hard to get roles after the success of Happy Days. He has since had hilarious recurring roles on hit shows Arrested Development, and Parks and Recreation. He also had a recurring voice-acting role on the Netflix Animated comedy/drama, Bojack Horseman. On the show, Winkler played a delightfully parodied version of himself.

Henry Winkler also appeared in films such as Holes (2003), The Waterboy (1998), Cop and a Half (1993), and Here Comes the Boom (2012).

After his firing from Turner and Hooch, Winkler directed Cop and A Half (1993). Cop and A Half is a buddy cop comedy film about a detective and his eight-year-old partner working to solve a murder. The film clocked in at #1 in the box office and made $40.7 million worldwide with a $4 million budget.

One of his biggest roles is his supporting role as acting coach on the HBO Hit, Barry. Barry started in 2018. For his role in Barry, Winkler received the 2018 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. He was nominated again in 2019. Barry is set to film their third season soon, after their plans were interrupted by the pandemic.

So thankfully, Henry Winkler’s firing from Turner and Hooch didn’t stop him from going to work in a wide variety of laugh-inducing roles. From Emmy-winning roles to directing #1 box office films, Winkler’s role as Fonzie truly was just the start for him.