'Happy Days' as the Fonz gets key to Winnipeg
The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, March 28, 2010 10:41PM EDT
WINNIPEG - His hair is now the distinguished grey of an older man and there's no sign of the signature duck tail hair style he sported on the television sitcom "Happy Days."
But the actor best known for making "The Fonz" a cultural institution during the show's decade-long run between 1974 and 1984 can still draw a crowd of awed fans.
Henry Winkler, now a dapper-looking 64, received the key to the City of Winnipeg during an appearance at a Winnipeg auto show on Sunday where he was signing autographs.
Mayor Sam Katz beamed as the well-known actor and director admired the large silver key.
It's not the first time Winkler has received such an honour, though he suggests its a tribute that never he never tires of.
While he still hasn't received the keys to either Los Angeles or his home town of New York City, he's got at least two others.
"I have the key to Dallas and to New Orleans," he said.
Winkler said he would like to come back to Manitoba to indulge one of his favourite pastimes.
"I love to fish, for trout mostly."
For Kirby Stav, it was a long-held dream to meet the man who brought the character of Arthur Fonzarelli to life on the 1950s-themed television show.
"I've always wanted to meet him. The Fonz was the coolest guy I've ever known in my life," he said.
Ron Howard, who went on to become a famous film director, also starred in the show with Winkler, who played a biker with a heart of gold.
Besides his work as an actor and director, Winkler has long been a literacy advocate and says he was dyslexic as a child and had trouble reading.
The condition was only diagnosed later in life. He's had a varied career with appearances on such television shows as "The Practice" and "Arrested Development."
Others who have received the key to the City of Winnipeg include musician and humanitarian, Bob Geldof and Olympic gold medallist, Jon Montgomery.