‘Happy Days’ Legend Henry Winkler Revealed the Five ‘Directing Geniuses’ He’s Worked Under

by Megan Molseed
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Henry Winkler has long been a prominent face of pop culture. The longtime actor, director, author, and producer found unprecedented fame playing Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on the popular sitcom Happy Days.

While his breakout role was as the iconic “greaser” on the long-running ABC sitcom, Henry Winkler’s star power continues well past the series, long after the Happy Days 1984 series finale.

Since then, Henry Winkler has had an enormously successful career starring in a variety of Hollywood films, multiple television shows, and a variety of specials.

And, says the actor, these experiences have allowed him to work with some unparalleled “directing geniuses.”

Former ‘Happy Days’ Star And Sandler Hit It Off

From former Saturday Night Live comedian and Hollywood movie star Adam Sandler to the minds behind some of television’s greatest shows such as Happy Days, Arrested Development, and most recently, Barry, Winkler has made a career playing some very memorable characters while working with some of the business’s most creative directors.

In 1998, Henry Winkler landed a role portraying the hilarious Coach Klein in the Adam Sandler vehicle, The Waterboy. After the film found enormous success, the duo went on to work together in a variety of projects such as the 2000 film Little Nicky, 2006’s Click and 2008’s You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.

“Adam Sandler is one of the five directing geniuses that I’ve worked with,” Henry Winkler said to the Old Goats blog of his former costar, director, and longtime friend.

“He’s in charge of every detail for the entertainment that he creates,” Winkler adds of Sandler. “He is warm. He is shy. He’s inventive and totally knows what he wants.”

Of course, no discussion about Sandler can go without tossing in a bit of comedy as Henry Winkler adds that Sandler must have dumped him along the way.

After working on multiple films with the movie star Sandler Winkler jokes that he never heard from the star again.

“Five films with him. And then he never called again,” Winkler jokes of Sandler. “So actually he’s a schmuck.”

A Long Career With Amazing Directors

The former Happy Days star adds that, along with Sandler, he has had the honor of working with a variety of other directors. One’s that Winkler refers to as “directing geniuses.”

In 2003, Henry Winkler worked with director Mitch Hurwitz. Winkler joined Hurwitz when he began his run as the extremely incompetent and morally ambiguous lawyer Barry Zuckerhorn on the cult-classic series Arrested Development. This, says Winkler, was another directing genius with which he had the honor to work with.

Of course, we can’t discuss Henry Winkler’s experiences with directing geniuses without discussing his original director, Gary Marshall. Marshall was the one who directed Winkler in his break-out role as the Fonz on Happy Days.

Most recently, Winkler has joined forces with another directing genius and Saturday Night Live alum, Bill Hader. Winkler joined Hader and Barry co-creator, Alec Berg when he took the role as Gene Cousineau in HBO’s Barry.

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