The 5-minute Interview: Henry Winkler, actor and author

'People told me I was lazy and that I'd never amount to anything'

Wednesday 02 July 2008 00:00
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Henry Winkler and Ed Balls on their school visit yesterday
Henry Winkler and Ed Balls on their school visit yesterday

Nearly 25 years after 'Happy Days' ended Henry Winkler, 62, is still recognised for his role as 'The Fonz'. Winkler, a dyslexia sufferer, has written children's books about a boy with similar difficulties. He has been in London to launch the National Year of Reading and to speak at the Department of Children, Schools and Families' Teaching Awards

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Napping. I'm going to a book signing in Kingston; I was speaking at the teacher awards earlier and I just left a primary school where I was doing a reading and talking with Ed Balls. He has a great sense of humour. I saw him interact with all these shy children and he pulled them completely out of their shells.

I wish people would take more notice of...

The sense of humour in the books I write with my partner. I'm very proud of how funny they are. They are just being published in Britain. My biggest hope is that people read and enjoy them.

The most surprising thing that happened to me was...

My career. When I was growing people told me I was lazy and that I would never amount to anything.

A common misperception of me is...

That I'm tall because of the characters I play. I'm 5ft 6.

I am not a politician but...

If I were, I would promote three things: strong support for kids who learn differently, peace on earth in some way and respect for our environment. They are the foundations of the continuation for our civilisation.

I'm good at...

Fly-fishing for trout. I've never eaten one though, I throw them back because they are far too magnificent a creature.

I'm very bad at...

Spelling, math and reading out loud. It's interesting when you consider how much my career conflicted with my dyslexic self.

The ideal night out is...

A delicious sushi dinner then a trip to the theatre.

In moments of weakness I...

Eat chocolate mousse cake.

In another life I'd have been...

A teacher.

The best age to be is...

The age I am because I'm thrilled to be alive. For my knees though, it was 27.

My philosophy is this:

Everyone has a great gift in them and their job is to figure out what it is.

Ben Naylor

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