Get those pre-ordering fingers ready because a Henry Winkler biography is finally coming, and we can’t wait to devour it all.
The Jewish actor known as the Fonz, Dr. Saperstein, Gene Cousineau, the cutest dancing grandpa on TikTok and an overall mensch is releasing his first official autobiography, titled Being Henry: The Fonz… and Beyond.
Winkler, who most recently starred in the hilarious Israeli show Chanshi, announced the book’s release and shared its cover this morning on social media. He tweeted that “our youngest son, Max, for years, has said, ‘Dad, you should write an autobiography.’ And here it is.”
Winkler has a complex and wonderful relationship with the written word. Growing up, the actor didn’t know he was dyslexic and said the undiagnosed condition made him feel “stupid” and filled him with anger and frustration — he was constantly punished for his academic failings. Winkler discovered he had the learning challenge in his 30s when his stepson Jed was tested for it. As an adult, he struggled with it during his studies at Yale School of Drama and while preparing for roles.
He used that lived experience and knowledge to create a series of books that make kids like him feel represented: Here’s Hank, which revolves around Hank Zipser, a wonderful dyslexic protagonist. There are 29 books in the series. He’s also the writer of the Alien Superstar trilogy, both with co-writer Lin Oliver.
This isn’t Winkler’s first autobiographical work — he’s also written I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River: Reflections on Family, Photography, and Fly-Fishing, a series of essays about his fly-fishing experience. Yet this upcoming book is his first comprehensive official autobiography.
Being Henry will delve into the way dyslexia impacted the adolescence of the Happy Days star, as well as what it was like for the celebrated actor to deal with the pressures of a role that takes on a life of its own. It will delve into how Winkler struggled to find his footing as an actor after that iconic role — only to become an icon for a younger generations thanks to his roles in shows like Arrested Development, Parks and Recreation and, of course, Barry, for which he won his first Primetime Emmy in 2018.
The blurb, which says Winkler is “widely regarded as the nicest man in Hollywood”, describes it as “a meaningful testament to the power of sharing truth and kindness and of finding fulfillment within yourself.”