With 44 years of marriage and three beautiful children, Henry Winkler and his wife, Stacey, have defied the odds of Hollywood romance. But did you know that their love story almost never got off the ground? It’s hard to believe, considering their enduring love and commitment.
You may recognize Henry Winkler from his iconic role as Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on the classic TV show “Happy Days.” But beyond his fame, Winkler deserves recognition for his devoted marriage to Stacey.
Their story began in a clothing store where Stacey worked as a public relations employee. Henry happened to visit the store, searching for a sport coat, and asked Stacey for assistance. It was love at first sight for Henry, who was captivated by her beauty and strength.
“I saw this beautiful woman standing in front of me,” Henry recalled. “She was wearing purple parachute pants and had red hair. Without her saying a word, I thought, ‘Woah.’”
Their connection was undeniable, but fate almost intervened. When Henry returned to the store a week later, Stacey initially hesitated to go on a date with him. Fortunately, she eventually agreed, and their love story began to unfold.
Their relationship quickly progressed, with Stacey and her four-year-old son moving in with Henry. The couple eventually tied the knot in 1978 at the same Manhattan synagogue where Henry had his bar mitzvah. Little did they know, they would soon face the challenges of navigating Henry’s growing fame.
As Henry’s career soared, Stacey had to cope with the attention he received from female fans. But she took it in stride, understanding that it was a testament to her husband’s success. “People would rush up to Henry and literally walk over my feet,” Stacey revealed. “One time I said, ‘You’ve just completely ruined my stockings.’ And this woman said, ‘But I love Fonzie!’”
Despite this hurdle, their love remained strong, and they welcomed two children into their lives: their daughter Zoey in 1980 and son Max in 1983. Max even followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a successful writer, director, and producer in Hollywood.
However, life took a sad turn for the family in the late ’90s when Stacey was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though she went into remission, the cancer returned in 2007. Stacey underwent a double mastectomy and has been cancer-free ever since.
Henry has been a pillar of support throughout Stacey’s journey, becoming deeply involved in breast cancer awareness. He has spoken at events and dedicated himself to raising funds for breast cancer patients and their families.
Their love has only grown stronger over the years, and they don’t shy away from expressing it. During an appearance on the James Corden show, Henry was surprised with a picture from their wedding day. He declared that Stacey is just as beautiful now as she was on their special day.
Stacey also shows her unwavering support for Henry through social media posts and photos. Together, they have overcome the challenges that life has thrown their way. “It does take work,” Stacey admitted. “There are glitches in the road, but if you have love and stick-to-itiveness, your relationship only gets better.”
Today, Henry and Stacey cherish their role as grandparents. Growing up without the presence of his own grandparents, who were tragically taken to concentration camps during the Holocaust, Henry deeply values the relationship he has with his grandkids.
But to his grandkids, Henry is simply “Papa.” They are too young to realize his fame and only see him as their loving grandfather. And for Henry, that’s more than enough.
The love story of Henry Winkler and Stacey is an inspiration to us all. They have shown us the power of realism, courage, and love both as individuals and as a couple. Their enduring marriage is a testament to the fact that true love can conquer all.