‘Happy Days’ Star Henry Winkler Calls Childhood Neighbor and Crush for Her 101st Birthday

by John Jamison
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By all accounts, “Happy Days” star Henry Winkler is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Over the years, The iconic actor has gained a reputation among PR professionals for being one of the coolest celebrities around. Fitting, considering the decade he spent playing the Fonz. Recently, he lived up to his reputation by making the day of an entire family he knew by way of a childhood crush.

Florence Keller is a 101-year-old woman from New York City. Apparently, she lived in the same apartment building as then-10-year-old Henry Winkler in 1955. What’s more, the eventual acting icon had the hots for Florence all those years ago.

Naturally, as the “Happy Days” star grew up and came into his own as an international celebrity, Florence shared the story with her family. Who wouldn’t brag about the Fonz having a crush on you when he was a kid? Well, Natalie Liebovits-Zaidenberg, Florence’s granddaughter, grew up the stories. And it occurred to her that maybe Henry Winkler would remember the object of his boyhood desires. So for her grandmother’s 101st birthday, she tracked him down.

After a long search that included canvassing a Facebook group that is home to some high-profile PR professionals, word got back to the “Happy Days” star. Being the man he is, Winkler jumped at the opportunity to speak with Florence.

“He called and he was lovely. He just said he wished her a happy birthday, and said he appreciates that we have followed his career this whole time. They spoke for about five minutes. We were all excited,” Natalie told PageSix.

The ‘Happy Days’ Star Brought Immeasurable Joy to the Family

101-year old Florence Keller has Alzheimer’s. But despite the effects of the disease, she never fails to recognize Henry Winkler. To her, the “Happy Days” star is the boy from downstairs who couldn’t stop staring.

“My grandmother has Alzheimer’s, but whenever she watches TV and he comes on, she goes, ‘It’s Henry,’ and gets very excited … Sometimes she doesn’t remember us so it’s really special,” Natalie said in the interview. “He’s ‘the Fonz.’ It was just so cool. It was a story I grew up with my whole life that was a great NYC story. But to see it be real was very special.”

For Henry Winkler, making the call was hardly any trouble. It was probably something he enjoyed doing. But it’s crazy to think of the impact that a mere five minutes out of his day can have on an entire group of people. The rest of the family seems to have gotten just as much out of it as Florence herself.

Florence Keller got an amazing birthday gift thanks to Natalie Lebovits-Zaidenberg being such a dedicated grandchild.

And honestly, could the Fonz get any cooler?

Outsider.com