It may sound really cool to say “The Fonz is visiting our town,” but Henry Winkler has many accolades and life accomplishments being his iconic sitcom role so many of us knew and loved. In fact, that’s the premise of his visit as he arrived at Harris Center of the Arts in Folsom Friday for the latest stop on the tour of his autobiography titled Being Henry…The Fonz and Beyond. 

Audiences that attend Winkler’s presentations are known to leave inspired and entertained Through humorous anecdotes and inspirational life lessons about overcoming adversity to his storied career in television and learn from Henry’s speeches.

Friday night should be no exception as Winkler will take the stage to a sold out crowd at the Folsom Lake College facility. Winkler’s appearance is part of big week in Folsom that saw music icon Lyle Lovett roll into town on Thursday and will welcome Melissa Etheridge this coming Monday night. In addition to this latest trio of national known personalities and artists, Harris Center for the Arts has a packed schedule through may with everything from live music to additional Broadway shows, including The Cher Show, which the venue is heavily promoting now as far as ticket sales. 

While many of us know him best for his Happy Days role, Winkler brings much more to the stage than memories of being on the set with Ron Howard and others. The 78-year-old has a deep passion for supporting others, which stems in part from the result of his lifetime struggle with undiagnosed dyslexia. Through the years, Winkler has worked tirelessly to bring awareness and support to children who learn differently by advocating for changes in the education system and informing parents and teachers about learning challenges. 

Winkler is celebrating 50 years of success in Hollywood this year and continues to be in demand, not only as an actor, producer, and director but as a best-selling children’s book author. His autobiography, Being Henry…The Fonz and Beyond, which was published last year, is his focus right now.

For Winkler, a 1973 audition in Los Angeles forever changed the life of the Yale School of Drama graduate when producer Garry Marshall and Tom Miller chose him for the iconic role of Arthur Fonzarelli, aka “The Fonz.” During his 10 years on the popular sitcom, he won two Golden Globe Awards, was nominated three times for an Emmy Award and was also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Both his famous leather jacket and Fonzie’s lunch box became part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum in 1980.

“I love the Fonz. He is nothing other than a gift. I understand him. My God, he is so talented. Oh, he’s funny. He’s so good. And a guru, you know,” Henry shared in an interview just after Being Henry was released. “Really nice fellow, but he was the Fonz, right? But that never made me resent him, because I had done this incredible thing that introduced me to the world.”

Winkler can add to his resume the title of New York Times best-selling author. His first book, Niagara Falls or Does It? Hank Zipzer the World’s Greatest Under-Achiever, became a New York Times bestseller. The book was inspired by Winkler’s struggle throughout his education due to his learning challenges and became so popular, it grew into a series of 28 novels. All the books are available in bookstores and online across the United States and have been published around the world in nine languages, with more than 5 million copies sold.the United States and have been published around the world in nine languages, with more than 5 million copies sold.
To date, he and his co-author, Lin Oliver, have written 39 children’s novels. Alien Superstar, a trilogy, became an instant New York Times best seller. Their newest book to be published is Detective Duck.

According to Winkler, all the titles he has received, the ones he relishes most are husband, father, and grandfather. Winkler and his wife, Stacey, have three children, Jed, Zoe, and Max, and six grandchildren. 

Now in town for a one-night appearance, it’s evident that those in and around Folsom truly love Winkler, or perhaps it is the leather jacket wearing quick witted “cool guy,” timeless character he brought and continues to bring into so many of our living rooms they are eager to see and hear in person. Most likely it’s a love of all things Winkler, because what’s not to love about one of Hollywood’s coolest guys that continues to entertain in so many ways. 

Henry’s show sold out extremely fast once it was announced he was coming to Folsom months ago. Tonight, he is amidst a week that has some of the biggest names the city’s premier entertainment venue will see this year. Last night Lyle Lovett put on a spectacular show that spanned over two hours without an intermission and Monday night, Grammy Award winning artist Melissa Etheridge will perform to a sold out Stage 1 auditorium.  

For information on the many events Folsom’s Harris Center has to offer, visit their website at  For those that were unable to get tickets to tonight’s show and have an interest in Winkler’s book, it can be purchased in many ways. Locally, Folsom has great book stores including Ruby’s Books in the Historic District, Barnes and Noble in Palladio and of course, it can be found in multiple places online. 

Biography content on Henry Winkler courtesy of Harris Center for the arts program guide.

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