It probably doesn’t come as any surprise to all of the Happy Days fans out there that Henry Winkler gets a lot of fan mail.
Winkler, of course, is the man behind Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli from the classic 1970’s show Happy Days. The Fonz was a greaser who eventually became the breakout star of the show. Happy Days aired from 1974 until 1984 and Winkler won himself two Golden Globe Awards for his performance. He also earned three Emmy Award nominations.
If you thought his acting career ended there, however, you would be sadly mistaken. Winkler has remained one of the most prominent actors of the 20th century. He has played in several popular shows such as Arrested Development, Children’s Hospital, Parks and Recreation, Royal Pains, Barry, and more.
Henry Winkler kept himself busy with films as well. He’s even made appearances in some of the most recognizable movies of the last 30 years. Some of those include Scream, The Waterboy, Holes, Click, and Here Comes the Boom, among others. But let’s not fool ourselves — Henry Winkler’s long, and incredibly successful career will always be defined by his role as The Fonz.
‘Happy Days’ Star Has a Worldwide Fan Base
Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that Winkler has built up quite a fanbase for himself. So much so, that he told HARDtalk in 2015 that he has received fan mail from 126 different countries over the years. But before he gets to that, an interviewer asks Winkler if he was at all embarrassed or frustrated while playing the Fonz.
“Was it not incredibly frustrating when The Fonzie’s big thing was sort of slouching on the stage with his leather jacket? Sort of drooling and sticking his thumbs up in the air,” the HARDtalk interviewer asks.
Winkler, who explained that he has a master’s degree in acting, says no.
“No. And I’ll tell you why. I was trained to be an actor, I was not trained to be an elitist,” Winkler said. “I loved that character. That character introduced me to the world,” he said. “126 countries — I got mail from 126 countries. From people who said, ‘You make me laugh,’ and ‘I want to be your friend.'”
Meanwhile, the interview keeps pressing his luck with the Happy Days star. He wanted to know if Winkler thought he could have landed a more sophisticated role given all of his years of training and a college degree.
“Is it elitist of me to say to you, ‘Henry Winkler it did not stretch you? You were talented,” the interview responds.
“That’s not true! I used every bit of my training as the Fonz,” Winkler exclaimed. “I could not have brought everything I did to the show if I didn’t have the training.”
You can watch the entire interview down below: