The two had even starred in a movie together called “The Lords of Flatbush.” Stallone played Stanley Rosiello and Winkler plays Butchey Weinstein. The movie is a coming-of-age drama that focuses on four Brooklyn teenagers and their lives of crime and fun.
Besides just a co-star, the two shared a bond that went beyond the “Flatbush.” In an older interview with “The Bobbie Wygant Archive,” Winkler opens up about his friendship and a general understanding of Sylvester Stallone.
“Sylvester is, for as gruff and as tough as he appears, he is a very sensitive human being. He wrote at that time, he paints,” Winkler said.
Winkler also talks about how he had even gotten to read “Rocky” before it became the massive success it is today. That was right as the story was going through different phases in the industry as well.
As for Sylvester Stallone’s artistic side, he spoke about that in 2020 with Vulture. He said, “I made good friends with Sly. And he is brilliant, so dry and funny, so literate.”
Winkler said that Stallone would actually paint his windows black when he was writing something in his apartment that he was incredibly focused on.
Sylvester Stallone Inspired ‘Happy Days’ Character
Beyond just a close friendship and professional relationship, Stallone had actually helped influence how Winkler would play his iconic “Happy Days” character.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Winkler would channel his inner Sylvester Stallone when getting into character.
It would mostly go into the voice of the Fonz, “When I did the audition I just changed my voice a little bit, you know?” Similarly, he also told the Archives of American Television that, “I studied Sly, Sly Stallone.”
Whenever Winkler does an impression of Stallone when talking about their relationship, it sounds like a clip out of “Happy Days.” It has that same deep, rugged, and assertive cadence to it. Although his most famous line isn’t really a line at all. Now fans just yell, “Aayyy!” at the sitcom star.
When Winkler won his Emmy for his HBO show “Barry” a few years ago, Stallone was quick to send his pal a note of congratulations. He posted on his Instagram account, “To my long time friend Henry Winkler Who finally won his much deserved EMMY after 40 plus In the business! I vividly remember working with him on those cold streets in Brooklyn almost 47 years ago !!! He was a super talented class act then and even more of one now !!!”