7 reasons why Henry Winkler is as cool as The Fonz

ByJustin Sedgwick via WABC logo
Friday, October 30, 2015
Left: Henry Winkler attends an event at Cinefamily on March 19, 2015 in Los Angeles. Right: Winkler as Arthur 'Fonzie' Fonzarelli in 'Happy Days," circa 1975.
Mark Davis/Getty | Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty

Ayyy, Henry Winkler turned 70 on Friday! Known best for his time on the classic television series Happy Days, Winkler has proved throughout his life that he's just as cool as his character Arthur 'Fonzie' Fonzarelli, the motorcycle-riding, shark-jumping greaser who won the hearts of audiences everywhere.

Here are seven reasons why Henry Winkler is just as cool as The Fonz:

1. He has a positive outlook on life

Fonzie never sweated the small stuff and always found happiness in whatever he did. This is very true for Winkler as well, who always maintains a thankful and gracious mentality for the show that made him a star.

2. He overcame significant challenges

No goal or dream was too big or impossible for Fonzie on Happy Days: When it comes to riding on the back of an angry bull or protecting his friends from bullies, The Fonz was up to the task. And the same is true for Winkler, who overcame dyslexia to successfully complete college and even graduate school. Not quite as dangerous as jumping over a live shark, but it's still a very impressive accomplishment none the less.

3. He remained polite and approachable, even after becoming a big star

The Fonz was easily the coolest guy at Jefferson High, having his pick of any girl or any friend to hang out with. But he still remained a good and true friend to Richie, Potsie and the rest of the Happy Days bunch. Winkler emulated the Fonz's penchant for being a true friend, even after his character exploded in popularity. Winkler held a reputation for being grounded, approachable and courteous even after he became one of the biggest stars in the country.

4. He's passionate about civic and social causes

Henry Winkler arrives at the 20th anniversary Time for Heroes Celebrity Carnival to benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation, June 7, 2009 in Los Angeles.
Gus Ruelas/AP

The Fonz was best known for his cool and easygoing demeanor, but audiences may forget the character was a big advocate for many social causes on the show. Fonzie learns sign language to communicate with a woman working at the power company who is deaf, and even hired a man in a wheelchair to work in his garage. Winkler too is a passionate advocate of many social causes, having supported organizations including the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Love Our Children USA, Stand Up To Cancer and The Children's Trust.

5. He loves kids

Fonzie was typically portrayed as a ladies man for the bulk of Happy Days, but the character became a true family man in the final season when he adopted an orphan boy named Danny Corrigan, Jr. Winkler too has been very passionate about helping and working with children. He is the author of the successful children's book series Hank Zipzer whose main character has a learning disability. Winkler even said that if acting hadn't worked out, he would have wanted to become a child psychologist because of his love of working with children.

6. He's pretty funny, too

Just because The Fonz was cool doesn't mean that he couldn't be funny and a goofball as well. Fonzie's devoted passion for the The Lone Ranger was hilarious, and watching him blush anytime Richie's mom Marion kissed his cheek. Winkler has embraced the funny, more whimsical side of The Fonz with full force, starring in notable comedic roles in The Waterboy and Click. Winkler wasn't afraid to poke fun at Fonzie while he played hapless lawyer Barry Zuckercorn in Arrested Development (a show narrated by his old Happy Days cast-member, Ron Howard, no less.) When it comes to humor for Winkler, he's very good.

7. He's shown you can be cool, even when you get older

Happy Days was cancelled in 1984 after an impressive 10-year-run. In that decade, Fonzie never lost his cool. Plus when Fonzie started his new position as an auto mechanic instructor at Jefferson High School near the end of the series, audiences could imagine the character still being hip even as the years passed. Winkler too has kept his cool even after more than 30 years since Happy Days went off the air. "You've got to be cool. You've got to be authentic," Winkler told The Independent in 2014. "I think, after all these years, that is how I define cool. It is being authentic. That is powerful."

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