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Henry Winkler, his son, Max Winkler, and daughter Zoe Emily Winkler | Source: Getty Images

Henry Winkler, an actor, began to find fame in the late 1970s. His early years in New York were less romantic, though. Despite his difficulties as a child, he put a lot of effort into becoming the greatest father he could be.

Henry Winkler was born on October 30, 1945, and is best known for playing Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli in the television series “Happy Days.” His parents were victims of the Holocaust and immigrated to Manhattan, New York, where he was born.

Harry Irving’s father, Winkler, was the head of a global lumber corporation. Alongside his father, his mother, Ilse Anna Maria, worked. Winkler had academic difficulties all through school.


A photo of Henry Winkler as a child | Source: Getty Images

A photo of Henry Winkler as a child | Source: Getty Images

Winkler was unable to meet his parents’ academic expectations for him. They expected him to work for the lumber company, but Winkler had other plans for his life.

Winkler wanted to become an actor from a young age. But he couldn’t participate in middle and high school plays because of his grades.

Although Winkler gained immense success and wealth through acting, his childhood was far from the glamor that other celebrities experienced as children.

Winkler’s Recollection of His Childhood




A young Henry Winkler on the set of "Happy Days." | Source: Getty Images

A young Henry Winkler on the set of “Happy Days.” | Source: Getty Images

Winkler had strong parents who wanted him to perform well in school. Since Winkler’s parents placed such a high value on education, they were dismayed when he failed. He stated:

“They believed in education. They thought I was lazy. I was called lazy. I was called stupid. “I was told I was not living up to my potential.”

Winkler made a lot of effort to raise his grades. He wished to avoid being labeled as stupid. But his parents would frequently put him in time out. His parents thought Winkler would succeed if he stayed at his desk for six weeks.

Henry Winkler and Ron Howard on the set of "Happy Days" in 1980. | Source: Getty Images

Henry Winkler and Ron Howard on the “Happy Days” set in 1980. | Source: Getty Images

“They were very critical and sometimes cruel.” “Their pet name for me was Dumm Hund (dumb dog),” Winkler said. His self-esteem suffered as a result of these hurtful nicknames.

Winkler thought back to a time when he had cereal for breakfast. He placed his ear close to the bowl to hear the “snap, crackle, and pop,” he placed his ear close to the bowl. However, when his mother noticed him, she chased him around the table.

He remembered how emotionally damaging his parents might be at times, yet he still admired them for fleeing Nazi Germany. Winkler believed that as he grew up, his parents never heard him.


Henry Winkler and Stacey Weitzman are seen at "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on October 07, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Henry Winkler and Stacey Weitzman are seen at “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on October 07, 2021, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

He also mentioned that his sister, Beatrice, had entirely different memories of their parents than he did. This puzzled the man. However, Winkler showed resilience and earned an MFA from Yale in 1970.

“I think one of the most important things about being a parent is seeing your child in front of you as who they are — not who you want them to be.” If you do that, it solves about two million problems immediately.

When Winkler was finally identified as having dyslexia, he was 31 years old. When his stepson, Jed, had also tested, he understood that he required a diagnosis.

Winkler vowed to distinguish himself from his parents.


Henry Winkler acting on "Happy Days" in the episode titled "A Woman Not Under the Influence" which aired on September 28, 1982. | Source: Getty Images

Henry Winkler acted on “Happy Days” in the episode titled “A Woman Not Under the Influence, ” aired on September 28, 1982. | Source: Getty Images

Every night growing up, Winkler went to bed, certain he would never be like his parents. When he became a father, he carefully honored his vow to himself.

He asserted that parents’ duty was to prevent a child’s self-esteem from declining. Winkler said when asked by radio host Hoda Kotb if his parents helped him maintain a positive self-image: “No. I swore I would not make that same mistake.”

In a previous relationship, Winkler’s stepson, Jed, was born to Winkler’s wife. Both Winkler and Jed were diagnosed with dyslexia at the same time.




 Henry Winkler attends "The Paley Center For Media Presents An Evening With Henry Winkler" at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 12, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Henry Winkler attends “The Paley Center For Media Presents An Evening With Henry Winkler” at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 12, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Winkler provided “L.A. Parent” with additional parenting advice. He stated that parents’ responsibility was to protect and nurture their children.

Every child is unique, he continued, so parents should let their kids develop in their special ways. Also, from him:

“I think one of the most important things in being a parent is seeing your child in front of you as who they are — not who you want them to be. If you do that, it solves about two million problems immediately.”

More about Winkler’s family

Max Winkler, Henry Winkler, Stacey Winkler, Zoe Winkler and Jed Weitzman honor Henry Winkler as he receives the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters Lifetime Achievement Awards at Sportsmen's Lodge on January 29, 2016 in Studio City, California. | Source: Getty Images

Max Winkler, Henry Winkler, Stacey Winkler, Zoe Winkler, and Jed Weitzman honor Henry Winkler as he receives the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters Lifetime Achievement Awards at Sportsmen’s Lodge on January 29, 2016, in Studio City, California. | Source: Getty Images

Winkler was the biological father of two children. In 1980, Zoe Emily Winkler was born. She attended Loyola Marymount University and graduated, going in a different direction than her father.

Zoe decided to work at a childcare school. She was also a founding member of the group “This Is About Humanity.” The group wants to increase public awareness of split-up and reunified families.


Max In 1983, Daniel Winkler was conceived. He decided to work in Hollywood. Max is a producer, director, and screenwriter. He contributed to hit television programs like “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “New Girl.”

Jimmy Kimmel and Henry Winkler photographed on the set of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" | Source: Getty Images

Jimmy Kimmel and Henry Winkler photographed on the set of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” | Source: Getty Images

During a prior relationship, Winkler’s wife gave birth to his stepson, Jed. Dyslexia was discovered in Winkler and Jed at the same time. Morrisey’s manager, Jed, is an independent individual who lives alone.

Since their marriage in 1978, Winkler and his wife, Stacey, have been happy. When Winkler was looking for a sports coat in an L.A. clothing store in the 1970s, they ran into each other.

 Coincidentally, the retailer was a client of Stacey’s P.R. Company. Winkler enlisted Stacey’s assistance in selecting the ideal coat. He asked Stacey out when he came back to get the jacket, and they started dating.

Winkler is a Doting Grand Father




Henry Winkler and his wife Stacey attend the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019. | Source: Getty Images

Henry Winkler and his wife, Stacey, attend the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019. | Source: Getty Images

Winkler and Stacey delight in having grandchildren. He claimed that he showered his grandchildren with love and had a great time as a grandfather. One of his grandchildren remembered him from “Happy Days,” he thought as he continued.

“My wife and I babysat our four-year-old grandson, who can watch one show before he goes to bed. He has Happy Days on his DVR. He turned to me, and he said, ‘That’s you. Your hair was different. You were skinnier then'”

Winkler also stated that his grandchildren were too young to understand his fame. All they can call him is “papa.” Over the years, Winkler has penned numerous children’s books that showcase his joy of raising children and being a loving grandfather.

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