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Henry Winkler Gets Brutally Honest About Low Point In His 45-Year Marriage

via CBS

Henry Winkler, an Emmy Award-winning actor known for his role as “The Fonz” on “Happy Days,” has written a memoir called “Being Henry: The Fonz… and Beyond.”

In the book, Winkler reflects on his successful career and his struggle with dyslexia.

The Hollywood star also discusses his 45-year marriage to his wife Stacey, emphasizing the importance of picking the right partner, and opened up about their need for therapy in order to maintain a lasting relationship.

“What’s the secret? First, it’s picking the right person,” Winkler pressed. “In 45 years, there are ups, there are downs. You need the right person who can face those ups and downs with you.”

“There is also the will to be together – I believe in that very strongly. I’ve rethought this, and it always comes back to that. The center of the relationship is the ear — not the heart, not the head.”

Winkler shared stories of how he met Stacey, their challenges, and the support she has provided him.

“I said, ‘I don’t know how to describe it to you,’” Winkler recalled of his first date with Stacey, in which he was bombarded by fans. “I remember we sat down in the middle, and the entire theater stood up to come to say hello. She turned to me and said, ‘Oh!’ Then we drove to West Hollywood for dessert at a restaurant that no longer exists. I’m driving and waving. She said, ‘Who are you waving to?’ I said, ‘I have no idea. They’re waving at me. So I’m waving at them.’”

“I couldn’t think about that,” Winkler said of the possibility of his fame hurting the relationship. “It is what it is. I was working as an actor, which was a dream of mine since I was old enough to reason. My fame came from that. I was working very hard and doing really well. I went from being given just six lines to being known by the world. I was entertaining people and making them laugh. … I had no control of that.”

“Before I met Stacey, I felt that I’d never want to marry a woman with a child – I was determined to start from scratch,” Winkler wrote. “Then I met an amazing woman who had a child, and everything I thought up until then went into the garbage bin.”

“We were wildly attracted to each other,” he shared. “She was beautiful, she was kind, and she helped me learn to spell. She introduced me to good food. No more TV dinners. … And she apparently thought a lot of things about me were pretty good, too.”

“I am so proud of him, and so happy for him – and selfishly, happy for myself,” Stacey wrote of the fruit of Winkler’s time in therapy.

“Because when someone is feeling good about themselves, they’re a lot easier to be around. He had moments of self-satisfaction in the past, but they were brief. … This time, I really think he knows he’s good. Living with an actor can be challenging; nobody knows that the way I do. But Henry is a fuller person now.”

Additionally, he talks about his advocacy for dyslexia awareness and his efforts to promote eye health.

Winkler hopes his book will inspire others and encourage his younger self to worry less and embrace the amazing adventure ahead.

“My greatest achievement is that I came here [to Hollywood] when I was 27,” he said. “I am now 78, and I’m still having the time of my life. I am still doing unbelievable projects that I’m lucky enough to get the call for. That is my achievement, that I was able to live my dream this long, that I was able to put food on the table and educate my children. I’m still living my dream.”

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