9 Things You Didn’t Know About Happy Days

  
Slide 3 of 5 | View On One Page

5. Casting Fonzie

Henry Winkler was not the type of actor creator Garry Mashall wanted for the role of Fonzie. He was looking for someone who was tall, handsome and blonde and Winkler was the exact opposite – he was a short, dark-haired actor with a B.A. from Emerson and an M.F.A. from Yale. Before Marshall could dismiss him, he hired him. “Casting isn’t always about what you’re looking for. Sometimes it is about recognizing potential and what is standing in front of you. Henry wasn’t Fonzie, but he could “act” like Fonzie,” he wrote in My Happy Days in Hollywood.

Everett Collection

ADVERTISEMENT

4. Fonzie’s Leather Jacket

ABC censors initially refused to let Fonzie wear a leather jacket, claiming that it made him look like a hoodlum. Creator Garry Marshall convinced them to allow Fonzie to let him wear his leather jacket when he was close to the motorcycle because a leather jacket was considered safety equipment. When he wasn’t near his motorcycle, he wore a white windbreaker. Eventually Fonzie was allowed to wear the leather jacket when he was not near his bike and Marshall had the windbreaker destroyed; however, one of Fonzie’s white jackets is in the Smithsonian Institution.

Everett Collection

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT