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Henry Winkler, Your Disability Does Not Define You

Henry Winkler is a legend that doesn't need much of an introduction.  It's likely you first knew him as "The Fonze" on Happy Days... or maybe you're a big fan of his current Emmy-Award Winning portrayal of Acting Teacher Gene Cousineau on HBO's Barry, or his equally hysterical performance as Barry Zuckerkorn, the Bluth family attorney, on Arrested Development.  But you may not know that he's the co-author of 35 children's books and one of the producers on MacGyver, or that he had to get over his self-assessment, as a kid, that he was a "dumb" outsider because he was dyslexic.  Despite his stardom and stature, he is full of humility, generosity and a love for the craft of storytelling.  His story is full of resilience and tales of overcoming his own 10,000 "No"s. 

 

SHOW NOTES: 

Henry's love and appreciation of being able to "do the work", (8:22). Growing up in Manhattan with parents that he disliked for being "severe", (11:30). Henry's relationship to education, being dyslexic, and how it has led him and his writing partner to write a series of books all about an outsider, (14:49). Henry discussing the chameleon-like talent of our mutual friend, Sam Rockwell, (16:40). Being a late bloomer and realizing that making a strong choice as an actor opened his imagination and enabled him to fly, (18:02). From age 7, he wanted to be an actor with no plan B, which hurt him when Happy Days ended, (20:20). Getting into producing despite his fear of being "dumb" because of his dyslexia, (22:22). The doing of something, producing, is what made Henry aware of what he was good at, (26:04). The real work that must be done on one's self, (27:04). "If I change, will I be accepted?", (27:43). A disastrous night at Neil Simon's house, (29:04). A chance at redemption with Neil Simon years later and how he almost sabotaged it out of fear, (31:38). Going to college despite not walking with his high school class, mostly due to his parents' desire for him to go to college, (35:57). Forgetting his Shakespeare monologue at the big TCG auditions and making it up on the spot, (37:17). A valuable lesson about owning his unique gift from a Prima Ballerina, (42:42).  The experience of Barry on HBO, where Bill Hader and Aleck Berg allowed Henry to bring his qualities to a role they imagined quite different from him, (44:09). A comparison of my relationship to my role on Huge in France and Henry's relationship to his role as the Fonze, "it's you they want", (48:10). A lesson about telling himself "no" while playing Scrooge in 1979, (49:16). On Inside the Actor's Studio Henry realizes the role of the Actor in the world - to hold a mirror to society, (51:24). Working with a young Sylvester Stallone on 'Lords of Flatbush' and realizing he was in the presence of greatness, (55:54). “If you know in your center that you’re on the right path, that this is the right thing… ya gotta keep going.", (1:00:09). A story about a pilot called Monty that started out hysterical and then was ruined by attempting to make it politically correct, (1:04:30) Working as a producer on MacGuyver, (1:09:38). Co-authoring 35 books despite feeling like he never could because of his dyslexia, (1:11:27). What Henry says to himself to get out a funk - you have to figure it out, (1:12:37).  Henry's love of fly-fishing, (1:13:38).  Henry's experience on Barry "everything you want it to be", (1:15:37).  Henry's advice to his younger self, (1:17:50) 

 

GUEST LINKS: 

IMDb:  Henry Winkler 

Wikipedia:  Henry Winkler 

Henry's Books on Amazon: Hank Zipzer The World's Greatest Underachiever 10 Book Slipcase Collection 

Variety:  Henry Winkler Wins First Emmy: 'I Wrote This (Speech) 43 Years Ago' 

 

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RELATED PAST EPISODES OF 10,000 “No”s: 

Ep 43:  Mark Duplass, Just Shoot It 

Ep 53: Emmy-Award Winner Richard Schiff, of The West Wing & The Good Doctor 

Ep 87: Erinn Hayes, How to Survive Being Killed Off a Sitcom Prematurely (by Scoring Lead Roles in TWO Netlfix Comedy Series) 

Ep 118:  Actor Sarah Shahi, That Which Does Not Kill You Will Make You Stronger 

 

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