When actor Henry Winkler played The Fonz on “Happy Days,” he did it in style. In fact, the iconic character’s jackets became a historical treasure, Winkler said on “Good Morning America” in 2019.
“[First] they put me in a McGregor golf jacket, which was really difficult to be cool in,” Winkler recounted on “GMA.” “And then I finally got into leather, and then gave the leather to the Smithsonian.”
The Smithsonian does indeed count Fonzie’s jacket among the items in its National Museum of American History catalog. The jacket is not currently on display, however.
‘Happy Days’ Star Kept One Jacket
Winkler revealed that he does still have one of the Fonz’s five leather jackets. But he said not all of the jackets made it.
“The first one was stolen from the department of costumes,” Winkler said. “And they made five. They put them under lock and key. They took the lining out of one of them when I jumped the shark on water skis. And one of them I have. And the late, great [‘Happy Days’ creator] Garry Marshall had another.”
Watch the clip of Winkler discussing Fonzie’s jackets, among other things, here:
The Weight of the Pandemic Got to Winkler
Meanwhile, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last month, Winkler said he’s doing fine now that he’s had his two shots of COVID-19 vaccine, but for a while there, things were looking pretty grim from his standpoint.
“I was doing really well until October,” the “Happy Days” star told THR. But then “I was in the middle of writing the 36th [children’s] novel that Lin Oliver and I have done together, and the weight of the pandemic and our politics put me into a hole. I couldn’t function. It was heavy and scary.”
“And I’ve always seen myself as that clown toy that has sand at the bottom and you hit the clown and he goes down and then he pops right back up,” he added. “I just couldn’t care about writing. My mind went dark. I felt like I was stuck in molasses.”
Fortunately, around about January, Winkler pulled himself out of it. He made it to Chapter 21 by March. And after he and his wife got vaccinated, they went to a friend’s house with four other people and watched a movie. It was the first time they’d been able to do that in more than a year. And suddenly, it was as if the whole awful, scary pandemic didn’t exist, Winkler said.