Having met actor Henry Winkler many times, I can verify he is indeed one of the nicest people I have met. His Barry co-star D’Arcy Carden summed it better with, “He is the nicest person, but he is so much more.”
I had another opportunity to learn more about Winkler at Being Henry Winkler. Presented by Chicago Humanities Festival at and with the support of Francis W. Parker School and moderated by Carden, Being Henry Winkler was an hour of Winkler answering Carden’s questions and telling stories.
From his meteoric rise as The Fonz, he has entertained generations for 50 years. Winkler discussed his iconic role, writing children’s books, other acting roles and much more, all sprinkled with humility and soft-spoken humor.
More serious, Winkler revealed his sometimes-difficult relationship with his parents, his learning problems and the therapy sessions to come to terms with all of it. Winkler was open, calm and inspirational as he relived hard moments and how he overcame them.
An exchange between Winkler and a young girl who also has dyslexia brought the crowd to tears and laughter. It was heartwarming to witness Winkler interact with her. It was like a private conversation between two new friends.
The little girl was his new friend. This is the “and more” Carden meant.
At the meet-and-greet following the event, Winkler made hundreds of new friends. These aren’t fans to him. They are new friends. “Hello, who are you and where are you from?” is how Winkler greeted everyone. As people left, I heard all commenting on how nice he is. He is nice, but like the title of his book and the event, that is simply Henry “Being Henry.”
The next day, I dove into Being Henry and read it in one sitting. As I read it, I heard Winkler’s voice retelling the tales. It was like an audiobook in my head. It will definitely be on my list of best books this year.
I always told everyone Winkler is the nicest celebrity. Now I tell all he is the nicest and more.
— John Wroblewski, online writer
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