MY HAVEN – HENRY WINKLER
The Happy Days star and children’s author, 71, in the office at his home in Los Angeles
1 MY SOUL MATE I’ve lived in this house in Brentwood in LA for 18 years with my wife, Stacey, and my office here is my bolthole. We’ve been married 38 years and we’re soul mates, as you can see in this picture. I met her when I was buying a coat in Beverly Hills and she was doing the PR for the store. I went back the next week to have an alteration and there she was again. I asked her out for a soda and that was it. She, our three children, Jed, Zoe and Max, and our four grandchildren make my life glide!
2 YOU BOOTIES These are my daughter Zoe’s first shoes – she’s 36 now! As a child I’d find her in her bedroom pretending to teach a class and now she’s a great teacher, even though, like me, she’s dyslexic. I’m proud of all my children; my eldest Jed, who’s actually my stepson, is a film producer and Max is a director. He made the penguin here out of clay when he was about five. He was obsessed with them. I took him and my granddaughter Lulu to see the penguins at San Diego Zoo recently, and boy do they smell!
3 WRITING A WRONG As a child I was branded stupid, even my parents called me dumb. It wasn’t until was 31 that I was diagnosed with dyslexia. So the fact I’ve now co-written 32 Hank Zipzer children’s books is incredible to me. My children all read my books to their children now, and I can’t tell you how proud I am of that. So many children seem to identify with Hank, who’s dyslexic, or they know someone like him. We’ve sold four million books so far and CBBC’s adaptation of them is one of their top shows.
4 HAPPY DAYS Although I donated the Fonz’s leather jacket to the Smithsonian in Washington, I have many mementos from Happy Days. The Fonz – there I am in the picture – only had six lines in the first episode but the show ran for 254 more and changed my life. I have every script bound in leather, but this shelf is precious. It was behind Arnold’s coffee shop and we’d rest our cups on it before going on set. I started to write on it – for example if one of the other actors had a baby – and nearly all the cast ended up signing it.
5 GONE FISHING I’ve just got back from fly-fishing with Stacey in Idaho. It’s one of the greatest things to do. We first went flyfishing with my lawyer in Montana in the early 1980s and, pardon the pun, I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s just you, the fly and the fish. You can’t think of anything else. Then there’s the sound and beauty of the river, or the curious baby moose that comes out to look at your boat going by. The fish in this picture is a brown trout – he weighed about 4lb – but I always put them back.
6 LEARNING DIFFICULTIES For years I’ve toured schools across America and the UK to raise awareness about learning difficulties among children. Then all of a sudden, back in 2011, I got a telephone call telling me I’d been awarded an honorary Order of the British Empire award for my work with children’s literacy in the UK. Wow! I felt honoured. It was presented to me by the British ambassador amid much pomp and ceremony in Washington. But no matter what I’ve done, or what I’ve received, I’m still seven-year-old Henry thinking: ‘This can’t be happening!’
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