Happy Days greaser Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli, one of the icons of small-screen cool, was known for his motorcycle, white t-shirts, jeans and, most importantly, his dark brown leather jacket. One of the jackets was donated to the Smithsonian in 1980. Only a few others are known.
Today Henry Winkler, famous for portraying the Fonz in the 50s-themed show, is selling one of the character’s jackets, which he has had in his personal possession for decades, at a sale auction which will take place on December 8 at Bonhams Los Angeles. The jacket will be sold as part of a complete Fonzie outfit which includes an original pair of blue jeans, a t-shirt and biker boots; the grouping has an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000. The items are part of the 26-lot Henry Winkler collection, which is included in Bonhams’ TCM sale.
“During the pandemic, I had the urge to do spring cleaning, except that it lasted a year and a half,” explains Winkler, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, why he is selling the parts now. “I found 27 boxes, and these boxes were filled with memories of Happy Days for The Waterboy for Yell.” These boxes contained everything from collections of t-shirts and hats to the “book I kept on the sidelines in The Waterboy to make plays,” he says, plus “two masks of Yell that I cut on screen and the props people gave them to me because they weren’t going to be used anymore. Winkler, who appeared as Principal Himbry in the 1996 film, sells one of Yell Ghostface masks; it has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.
Part of the proceeds from the sale of Bonhams will go to support the non-profit It’s about humanity, which was co-founded by the actor’s daughter Zoe Winkler. “She started with two friends to take care of the children who were separated from their parents at the border,” says Winkler.
Winkler actually had two original Fonzie leather jackets at home, one of which is for sale. The second he keeps.
Winkler says he knows of only five others: the Smithsonian; one that was “stolen from Paramount’s costume department – it was the very first one I ever wore,” he says; one that was destroyed after “we ripped off the liner to water ski when we jumped the shark [on Happy Days]and two that were in the possession of series creator Garry Marshall.
Winkler tells THR he did not try Happy Days jacket that he sells before parting with it: “I would have cried. I think I would have removed the zipper from the liner.
As part of the Bonhams sale, Winkler is also selling a pair of mechanic’s overalls he wore in Happy Daysa jacket he wore in Ron Howard’s night patroland a pair of cowboy boots he wore in the movie The Lords of Flatbush and later as Fonzie. “I like to take something from one thing and use it in another, so I bought these boots on 23rd Street in New York for The Lords of Flatbush then I brought them with me to wear them like the Fonz,” he says.
Winkler – who stars in Wes Anderson’s new film this month The French Dispatch – says that what he still appreciates the most about his participation in Happy Days is that “I liked people. They are still my friends. Tomorrow, I’m taking Marion Ross to lunch for her 93rd birthday. Ron [Howard] is like my brother, my younger brother; and [fellow castmembers] Anson [Williams] and dony [Most]we talk all the time.
As part of her “spring cleaning,” Winkler admits, “I realized that I’m honestly a hoarder. I keep everything thinking it’s going to end up being useful or important. I mean, I’m talking about jewelry boxes Little boxes of different sizes, kinda stacked like a Russian doll, and I’ve kept them for 40 years thinking I’m going to give someone a present that’s going to be that big, and I’ll have the box for the put in it Except I never found the present to put in the box. Looking through his possessions, he realized that he had also kept the following items: “A complete set of Happy Days trading cards, still cellophane-wrapped; the rubber head of an alien from the series Comments that I produced; a can of fresh air from Winnipeg, Canada; all the political pins I’ve had in my adult life; and an unopened box of M&Ms from [once going on] Air Force One. I was never able to ride on it; I have to stick to it. They were all at my house in a storage area.
Winkler notes that his hoarding did not reach an extreme: “I don’t have a newspaper in the hallway.”
Currently, the actor is filming the third season of the acclaimed HBO comedy. barry. “I’m so sad that we’re nearing the end of the season. Oh my god, that’s amazing and that’s not hyperbole. I think that’s the most intense character, that moment in season three. , throughout my career, [which started] June 30, 1970. That’s when I made $173 a week with the Yale Repertory Theater and we did a season in East Hampton, Long Island, at the John Drew Guild Theater. I’m so serious. Will he share anything about the plot of season three? “No, because I want to be alive to do the fourth season,” he says of the secrecy around filming. “You can’t even invite a friend on set.”
He also notes that on Barry, he carries on his tradition of wearing something for a role that has personal meaning. “I wear Garry Marshall’s tie as a tribute to my mentor. It was a real tie of his that had been given to me by the family. I miss him all the time.
In addition to his acting, Winkler is also a children’s book author with his longtime writing partner, Lin Oliver. Their Hank Zipzer series tells the story of a dyslexic boy named Hank, while their latest book, Alien Superstar: Hollywood vs. Galaxy came out this month. “It’s part of a trilogy about a 13-year-old alien who lands on the Universal backlot and, I don’t know how it happened, but he got a situational comedy job as an alien. because he already had the costume,” says Winkler.