Many people would be surprised to learn that Henry Winkler and his wife almost never saw each other again after their first meeting in a clothing store, despite having three children and a loving 44-year marriage.
Henry Winkler is best known for his role as Arthur Fonzarelli on “Happy Days,” but he should also be recognized for his loving marriage to Stacey. It’s difficult to believe that the two almost never went on their first date…
Most people are familiar with Henry Winkler because of the iconic roles he has played throughout his long career. Most notably, Winkler is remembered for his portrayal of Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli in “Happy Days,” a character who is still widely referenced in popular culture today.
When Stacey and Henry met, they were both working as public relations consultants for a clothing store that was a client of Stacey’s firm. Henry asked Stacey for help while looking for a sport coat, and the rest is history.
“She was wearing purple parachute pants, and she had red hair, and without her even saying a word, I thought, ‘Woah, beautiful woman standing in front of me,'” Henry said of their first meeting. When I returned to the store the following week, she was still there. And I found out how strong she is in 10 minutes.”
When Henry returned to the same store a week later for his coat, Stacey almost declined his invitation to go on a date. Of course, she eventually agreed, and they were dating before they knew it.
Stacey and her then-four-year-old son moved in with Henry shortly before the couple decided to marry in 1978.
After marrying at the same Manhattan synagogue where Winkler had his bar mitzvah, the couple had to deal with Henry’s growing celebrity. Stacey frequently had to deal with the increased female attention he began to receive.
Despite the couple’s marriage, Stacey stated that women continued to approach their husband. She stated that all she had to do was learn to deal with it, knowing that such attention was a good sign for his career.
“People would rush up to Henry and literally walk over my feet,” she said. ‘You’ve just completely ruined my stockings,’ I said one time. ‘But I love Fonzie!’ said the woman.
Female fans were not a major concern for the couple in comparison to future challenges.
Henry and Stacey had their daughter Zoey in 1980 and their son Max in 1983, and they lived for many years with their children and careers.
Max Daniel Winkler decided to follow in his father’s footsteps in Hollywood and is now a writer, director, and producer on shows like “New Girl” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” among others.
However, the family’s fortunes began to deteriorate in the late 1990s. When Stacey was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was faced with a new challenge.
Stacey quickly recovered from her illness. This lasted for a while, until her cancer returned in 2007. She had a double mastectomy at this point and has been cancer-free ever since.
Henry has become very involved in breast cancer awareness in order to support his loving wife. Winkler was invited to speak at the 13th annual “In The Pink of Health” Luncheon, one of many events hosted by the organization to raise funds for breast cancer patients and their families.
Henry was already supporting cancer patients before Stacey was diagnosed, even appearing at an all-star basketball game for the American Cancer Society in 1976.
Henry and his wife have been able to maintain a long and healthy marriage through mutual support and respect. They do not keep their love hidden, despite the fact that they claim there is more than one reason for their marital success.
Stacey loves to fish too ! pic.twitter.com/8wLJX98h2P— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) July 29, 2022
Corden surprised Henry with a photo from his and Stacey’s wedding day on the James Corden show. Winkler’s response was that Stacey is still as stunning today as she was on their wedding day.
Henry is not the only one who has publicly expressed their love. She frequently expresses her support for her still-busy husband through social media posts and photos.
While 44 years of marriage is never easy, the couple has been open about working together to overcome the difficulties that life throws at them.
Going FISHING!!!!! YAYYYYY!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/jXLybMD2l1— Stacey Winkler (@StaceyWinkler15) June 25, 2018
“It does require effort. “There are bumps in the road, and you get a little off kilter, but if you have the ability and the stick-to-itiveness based on love, your friendship and your relationship only gets better,” Stacey told People.
Winkler and his wife now enjoy being grandparents. Winkler never got to know his grandparents because they were all taken to concentration camps during the Holocaust, so he treasures his relationship with his grandchildren.
One of his grandchildren recognized him from television, he told an interviewer. “My wife and I babysat our four-year-old grandson, who is allowed to watch one show before going to bed,” he explained. He has Happy Days recorded on his DVR. ‘That’s you,’ he said as he turned to face me. Your hair was unusual. You were slimmer back then.”
He claimed that his grandchildren were too young to realize he was a famous actor, and that he was just their adoring grandfather “Papa” to them, which was enough for him.
For their realism, courage, and love as individuals and as a couple, the two should truly be an inspiration to the rest of us.