Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds
  • The Fedora Lounge is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

"Being Henry"

LostInTyme

Practically Family
I just finished Henry Winkler's book, "Being Henry". It is an easy read and is filled with insights perhaps not known by most folks. There are a LOT of references to actors, directors, producers, and shows many of us will not recognize. There are some revelations and lessons I took away from his book and life. I will say this, it happened to coincide with my own re-evaluating of some things in my life that have become much better now. I am not sure how this happened, but it did, and I am now happy again, I guess these will be my Happy Days. Thanks Fonz (Henry).
 
Messages
10,692
Location
My mother's basement
I appreciate Henry for at least giving the appearance of being comfortable in his own aging skin, and khakis and button-down Oxford cloth shirts.

He doesn’t do the Fonz anymore. It’s as though, unlike Elvis, he’d rather not play a role that requires wearing a girdle.
 

Tiki Tom

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,238
Location
Oahu, North Polynesia
I know a guy who spent seven years sailing around the South Pacific. His adventures occurred some years ago. Yet, now it seems that all he can do is talk about those years on a sailboat.

Another friend had a glamorous career in international relations. You guessed it; now all he can do is talk about his years in London, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, etc.

Not having read the book, I can well imagine how hard it would be to move beyond having once been a big star. Few get such opportunities. We all want to feel relevant and important. It probably takes great humility to catch yourself when it would be so easy to dwell on the past.

As a recent retiree myself, it’s a pothole to watch out for!
 
Messages
10,519
Location
vancouver, canada
I just finished Henry Winkler's book, "Being Henry". It is an easy read and is filled with insights perhaps not known by most folks. There are a LOT of references to actors, directors, producers, and shows many of us will not recognize. There are some revelations and lessons I took away from his book and life. I will say this, it happened to coincide with my own re-evaluating of some things in my life that have become much better now. I am not sure how this happened, but it did, and I am now happy again, I guess these will be my Happy Days. Thanks Fonz (Henry).
I have an LA based friend that arrived in Hollywood about the same time as Winkler. My friend did everything, auditions, cattle calls, whatever acting gigs (paid and unpaid) he could find. But as most do, he struggled. If you get him talking he will tell you with bitterness about Winkler. My friend said Winkler sat in his apartment in his underwear drinking beer not chasing the dream at all. One day his agent called himn to an audition for this new TV show "Happy Days". He pretty much got the job and he "looked" and "sounded" like the director/producer's image of the character. He got the job and never looked back. My friend never "made it" in the business. But he tells the Winkler story to demonstrate the shear luck, serendipity and circumstance of it all.
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,480
Location
New Forest
Happy Days must have passed me by, there again most of television passes me by, but I do remember an award presented to Henry Winkler: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ukinusa/albums/72157627546756655/ He was made an Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at a ceremony at The British Embassy in Washington.

What did surprise me though was reading a review, on line, in The New York Times, of Winkler's love of Shakespeare. Another surprise awaited, did you know that Fonzie played Hamlet? Winkler said that he himself had always been “afraid” of Shakespeare. Although he once appeared as young Siward in Yale Repertory Theatre production of “Macbeth.”

Henry Winkler was riding a wave of popularity when in late 1979. He was still starring in the 1970's sitcom "Happy Days" as well as being the star in two theatrical movies, when he played Scrooge in an American version of Charles Dickens' "Christmas Carol." Set in the depression era.

A man of many talents, in 2003, he drew upon his childhood struggles with dyslexia to co-write the Hank Zipzer series of children's books, which he then adapted into the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hank Zipzer TV series (2014–2016) in which he appears as Mr. Rock.

He's amazing!
 

Benny Holiday

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,764
Location
Sydney Australia
Going to see him tomorrow evening with the Mrs at Sydney Town Hall. I couldn't pass the up the opportunity to see an icon of my teen years who had a huge impact on a lot of kids at that time here.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,870
Location
London, UK
I've always meant to catch him in panto some year. I should the next time I get the chance.

It's an interesting situation, a performer being so successful and so associated in / with one role that it holds them back from others. It seems to happen with a number of big sitcom stars in particular, though I've seen it elsewhere. Leonard Nimoy once wrote a book called I am not Spock, a meditation on the actor / character distinction. It was misunderstood by many (who doubtless hadn't read it) as a disowning of the character which made his name, and there was a backlash. In the 90s, he published his second book - I AM Spock that set the record straight, while also exploring the same issues further.

More recently, I've been to a couple of events featuring the outstanding musician, songwriter, and generally genuinely nice guy Glen Matlock. He became somewhat infamous in his youth for the exploits of a band he was in from 1975 to 1978. He's worked solidly and done some great stuff since, but he always gets asked about "those three years". I can imagine it's a double-edged sword.
 

Benny Holiday

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,764
Location
Sydney Australia
The ol' Sydney Town hall was packed to the rafters to see Henry. Very interesting cat. He had a lot to say about his childhood, about the power of positive thinking on both kids and adults, and had a lot of advice for aspiring actors, of which there were quite a few in the grand hall. Lots of humour injected into the monologue as well. Surprise surprise, his old pal Ron Howard had secreted himself in the audience about 20 feet from where we were sitting. He's been directing a film up in Queensland and dropped by to catch up with Henry.

He did the Fonzie voice a couple of times and that sent the roof off the joint. But he had a lot of deep things to contribute and was very motivational. He was onstage for ages, about 2 hours with an intermission as he took audience questions for the second half of the night. As well as digging his acting skills, I now have a lot of respect for him as a person. Cool-a-mundo.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
107,653
Messages
3,043,746
Members
53,017
Latest member
PerryShaw
Top