The feud between “Happy Days” star Henry Winkler and Tom Hanks had become the stuff of Hollywood legend.
It all started when Winkler was hired to direct “Turner & Hooch,” a movie about a cop and his canine partner. Hanks was starring in the film. The two Hollywood heavyweights reportedly had some “creative differences.” Thirteen days later, Winkler was out.
“I was called into [producer] Jeffrey Katzenberg’s office and he said, ‘You have everything with you? Go home’,” Winkler said in 2019, adding, “I got along great with the dog.”
‘Happy Days’ Star Says There’s No More Feud
But when TMZ caught up with Winkler in January of 2020, the “Happy Days” star said everything is cool now. The Hollywood icon insisted there is no feud between him and Hanks.
“I don’t have a feud with Tom Hanks,” Winkler said. When his TMZ interviewer protested, Winkler explained, “What everybody says and what is true are two different things.”
In other words, Winkler was urging TMZ to pay no attention to the rumors he himself had (perhaps inadvertently) stoked. In fact, Winkler said he and Hanks bump into each other around town all the time.
“I just saw him at our SAG [Screen Actors Guild] Awards,” Winkler said. “It was beautiful.”
The two men didn’t talk about their rumored feud when they ran into each other, he added, because “why would you give credence to that?” As for his own public allusions to a feud, Winkler said those were “just fun.” He suggested that the notion of a feud “is created” by the media.
“It used to be, there was a tremendous feud between John Travolta and me,” he said. “And there was no feud.”
“I acted with Tom, I acted with his wife,” Winkler said. “It’s a lovely thing.”
Winkler-Hanks Feud Was a Real Thing
The feud may be a thing of the past, as Winkler insists it is, but it definitely happened. “Happy Days” star Ron Howard acknowledged as much in an interview with The Guardian last September.
“It was disappointing,” Howard said of his friends’ feud. “I’m friends with them both and both men felt compelled to come to talk to me about it. It was just one of those unfortunate things where they really had a working style that did not fit. I know it was painful for both of them and I was able to lend an ear, if not offer any solutions.”
Still, Howard said both stars have been invited to his birthday parties in the years since. And they’ve managed to put their differences behind them and get along. It just goes to show that for actors who hit it big, Hollywood can be a pretty small town.