Henry Winkler, best known for his role as 'The Fonz' on Happy Days, is making multiple appearances at Autorama in Detroit this weekend.
The show takes place Friday-Sunday, February 24-26 at Huntington Place, formerly Cobo Hall, and Winkler will appear for autographs and pictures Friday, Saturday & Sunday.
“I can’t wait. It’s an amazing event. First of all, you have these incredible works of art that happen to be cars. The care, the artistry, amazes me and I’m not a car guy," Winkler says. He told JJ & JoAnne that it's all about the people. "I get to meet the people who watched me all these years. I have pictures from every section of my career, and it depends on who they are. Some know me from, of course, Happy Days and Scream and Water Boy, Arrested Development, Parks & Rec, and now Barry, on HBO."
Winkler told JJ & JoAnne it wasn't easy to get work after Happy Days ended.
“After Happy Days, I couldn’t get hired. Everybody said 'he’s such a great guy, he’s so funny. But he was the Fonz', so my lawyer said to me, 'I’m going to start a company', and the very first show we sold to ABC was MacGyver, and it went on for 13 years. I’m so proud of it."
Winkler also shared the incredible story of how his father came to America from Germany in 1939. He got a six-week visa from Germany to work in New York. They thought he'd come back... he knew he wouldn't. Winkler explains his dad took his mother's jewelry, bought a box of chocolate, melted the chocolate down, put the pieces of jewelry in the chocolate box, and poured the melted the chocolate over the jewelry. When he was stopped by the Nazis and asked if he was taking anything of value out of the country, he said, 'no, you can open every bag'. After coming to America, he sold the jewelry to start a new life. Henry was born in 1945 and was given the middle name Franklin.
“My parents were so happy to have survived and to be here in this wonderful country. My middle name was after the President of the United States.”
Winkler joined JJ & JoAnne this week for a wide-ranging interview that included a lot of laughs. You'll hear how that jukebox just magically worked every time he hit it during Happy Days, and how maybe you should refer to him as Sir this weekend!