Henry Winkler remembers the Tom Hanks feud that got him fired from Turner & Hooch

Henry Winkler remembers the exact moment between him and Tom Hanks that got him fired from directing Turner & Hooch.

Last Updated on June 10, 2024

Henry Winkler Turner & Hooch

Both Tom Hanks and Henry Winkler seem like just about the hardest guys in the business to feud with – and so they had it out with themselves! Not even two weeks into filming 1988’s Turner & Hooch, Winkler was fired from directing the film because he and Hanks just couldn’t jive. Don’t worry, Winkler and the French Mastiff got along just fine.

Appearing on the How to Fail podcast (via the New York Post), Henry Winkler remembered, “I did 11 weeks of preparation.I knew this dog. This slobbery mastiff and I became friends. The star did not become my friend.” When prompted if he actually meant Tom Hanks and not the pooch, Beasley, Winkler responded, “I probably do.”

Winkler was able to pinpoint the exact moment that his fate was sealed on Turner & Hooch, selling out Hanks to an eager fan. “We were in Carmel, this little seaside wonderful town on the coast of California, looking for a location, and a woman comes, honest to God, comes running out of a shop and says ‘Henry, Fonz! Oh, my god!’ and I say, ‘And, of course, you know Tom Hanks.’” He added, “The director of photography, when I was fired 13 days into filming, said, ‘I knew that this was going to happen, on that day in Carmel.’” Directing duties on Turner & Hooch would be passed on to Roger Spottiswoode.

Winkler and Hanks apparently get on quite a bit better nowadays, which was actually something that troubled mutual friend Ron Howard. Interestingly, the three never worked together on Happy Days, as Hanks’ 1982 appearance came two years after Howard left.

While the Tom Hanks clash cost Henry Winkler the Turner & Hooch gig, he did already have 1988’s Memories of Me to his credit and would later follow that up with 1993’s Cop and a Half – no, Winkler is not known for his directing prowess…

Turner & Hooch would go on to be the 12th highest-grossing movie of 1989, just behind When Harry Met Sally… and ahead of Uncle Buck. It would also be one of Hanks’ top money makers of the ‘80s, topped only by the previous year’s Big. It was turned into a short-lived TV series in 2021.

Source: New York Post

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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.