Henry Winkler gave fans a tour of his “life in jackets” on a recent episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in May 2020. The star has worn some iconic coats in his time and he was given — or stolen — many of them.
Winkler rarely has a beard, so this is a sight to see.
Fallon wanted to know about some of Winkler’s iconic roles, and he was more than happy to oblige. Rocking a pretty impressive and handsome beard, Winkler also walked the host through much of his early years in acting. The actor joked that he was a “hoarder” because he had kept so many items from his roles as souvenirs.
His collection included the leather jacket from Lords of Flatbush that he — ahem — borrowed. He also had his sport coat from Night Shift and, the pièce de résistance, one of Fonzie’s leather jackets from Happy Days.
“They made five,” Winkler said about the jacket. “They put them under lock and key, and I got one of them.”
That’s seriously impressive as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has had one of those jackets on display. Historians consider it an American treasure.
Winkler also had a sports coat that was especially important to him, even though it never appeared in any film or television show. It’s the jacket he bought from a high-end boutique in Beverly Hills when he started making money on Happy Days. The reason it’s important isn’t because of its cost, but because he met a pretty woman who worked there. And when he returned a few days later to pick up the jacket, he asked her out. He married that woman, Stacey Weitzman, and they’re still together 43 years later.
Henry Winkler Landed Fonzie Role Because Of His Height
Playing Arthur Fonzarelli made Henry Winkler one of the biggest television stars in the world. But he wasn’t the original choice. The Happy Days’ producers wanted Mickey Dolenz from The Monkees to play that part, but he was 6 feet tall. At that height, he loomed over the cast and looked out of place. Winkler, however, was 5-feet-6-inches tall. The perfect height for show creator Garry Marshall.
Marshall said he wanted the cast to be able to see eye-to-eye. The audience loved Winkler as Fonzie so much that producers promoted him to a full-time cast member. He originally was only a guest star.
While on Happy Days, Winkler was nominated three times for an Emmy for best actor in a comedy. But he didn’t win an Emmy until 2019, for playing Gene Cousineau in “Barry.”