Henry Winkler once saved an aspiring teen actor …while dressed as Fonzie

Henry Winkler once saved a teen from jumping off the ledge of a building via phone, all while dressed as The Fonz.

Last Updated on June 21, 2024

Henry Winkler

We all know that The Fonz is synonymous with cool, but it turns out that Henry Winkler is also cool under pressure. As he recounts in his memoir, Being Henry: The Fonz…and Beyond (which you can buy HERE), Winkler once saved a teen from committing suicide…while also trying to nab his record collection.

Henry Winkler recounted receiving a harrowing phone call all the way from Indiana while he was on the Paramount lot taping Happy Days. He was told that a 17-year-old with acting aspirations was on the ledge of a building and wanted to speak directly with The Fonz. Once Winkler found out the kid wanted to act but was evidently having trouble breaking through, he told him, “Number one-you should know that I didn’t get the Fonz until I was twenty-eight. So there’s plenty of time for you. So get the hell off that ledge.”

But while Henry Winkler had him on the phone, he asked the teen if he had a record collection. Finding out he did, he inquired, “Would you just go downstairs and sign [it]  over to me, so I can have it after you jump?” Certainly Winkler wasn’t actually requesting this but rather trying to get the teen off the ledge. He continued, “Now, where did I come up with the gall, the chutzpah, to think I was saying the right things to this kid? To think he wouldn’t just jump while I was talking to him? I really had no idea. All I really had was the feeling that he liked me and wanted to talk to me. And that if I could keep him talking, maybe he’d change his mind.” Fortunately, he did and Henry Winkler never got that free record collection. Then again, as The Fonz, he could just whack the jukebox and hear any song he wanted!

That’s a pretty incredible story, giving us yet another example of why Henry Winkler is to be admired. That he did so in full Fonzie garb does bring some humor to it but considering the sort of stand-up dude Arthur Fonzarelli was, it’s quite fitting.

Along with Tom Bosley (Howard Cunningham), Henry Winkler is the only cast member to have appeared in all 255 episodes of Happy Days. Ayyyyy.

Source: Being Henry: The Fonz...and Beyond

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with JoBlo.com periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.