Nearly half a century after he shot to superstardom playing Fonzie on “Happy Days,” Henry Winkler finally has his Emmy.
The beloved actor won best supporting actor in a comedy series for his role as temperamental acting coach Gene Cousineau on the HBO dark comedy “Barry.”
“I was 27 when I started doing the Fonze. I’m now 72, and I’m standing right here in front of you with her. Wow,” he said, holding up his trophy backstage at the 70th annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.
“This is so wonderful, I can’t even begin to tell you,” he gushed.
During his televised acceptance speech, Winkler joked that he actually wrote his speech 43 years ago.
He’s been nominated for seven Emmys over his long career. The first nod came in 1976 when he was up for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series for “Happy Days.”
He also joked about his nerves heading into the show.
“You know what, I was wearing rubber pants, just in anticipation. And I used a little powder. I had control,” he said.
Winkler said acting always felt like a natural fit, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for him.
“I’m very dyslexic. I don’t know if I could have done anything else,” he said after receiving his award.
“Every job is like a puzzle. It’s like a big puzzle, and all the pieces are blue, a shade of blue. And I have to put them together each time,” he said. “So it is like an amazing challenge every time, no matter how big or how small, in order to create a living, breathing human being, so that I can be on this stage.”
He called comedian and “Barry” creator Bill Hader a “focused” and “serious” boss on set.
“He would write the script. He would mouth it with me, even if he’s in your scene. You would have to remind, ‘We’re acting together. I can see your lips moving.’ He would say to me, ‘Henry, please. Just once, say it the way I wrote it so we can hear it.’ My mind and my mouth are not always friends,” he said.