Being Henry: The Fonz…and Beyond

Celadon. Oct. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781250888099. $30. MEMOIR
With heartwarming honesty and self-deprecating humor, Emmy-winning actor, producer, and writer Winkler opens up about life after the role of a lifetime, his becoming a children’s-book author, and his struggles with dyslexia in this charming memoir. Winkler’s iconic portrayal of Arthur “the Fonz” Fonzarelli on TV’s Happy Days (1974–84) brought both fame and the unexpected issue of his overpowering the show and being typecast thereafter. Winkler’s discovery in his thirties that his inability to read scripts and follow directions stemmed from undiagnosed dyslexia provided both relief and fodder for two new roles, as a motivational speaker and a creator of middle-grade novels featuring a young dyslexic boy named Hank Zipzer. Winkler’s memoir also gives readers insight into show business as he traces his career’s lows (being fired as director after just 13 days on the set of Turner and Hooch) and joyful highs (amazing roles in Arrested Development and Barry). More importantly, he describes his personal journey toward accepting his faults and improving his relationship with his wife. He even turns the writing over to her occasionally, to keep him honest.
VERDICT Winkler’s personality shines through in this memoir and cements his status as a beloved celebrity for multiple generations.
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