Henry Winkler and his wife Stacey have been proving for 44 years that true love exists. They have been through a lot but have stayed together – in sickness and in health.
Winkler met Stacey in 1976 when he was on the hit TV show, “Happy Days.” While at a clothing store, he noticed a redhead wearing purple parachute pants standing before him. He thought to himself, “Woah, beautiful woman standing in front of me,” but it would be a week before he spoke to her.
He came back to the store, and by chance, the beautiful girl was there again. He asked her to join him for a soda, and she declined. But she reconsidered, and they were soon having ginger ales across the street from the store.
Henry Winkler as “Fonzie” from Season 2 of “Happy Days” in July 10, 1975 | Source: Getty ImagesHenry Winkler as “Fonzie” from Season 2 of “Happy Days” in July 10, 1975 | Source: Getty Images
It didn’t take much more to be sure that they belonged together. Moving fast, the couple moved in together after a few weeks. Stacey brought her son Jed who was four at the time, and two dogs. Being with a famous actor was an adjustment, as Stacey recalled:
“People would rush up to Henry and literally walk over my feet. One time I said, ‘You’ve just completely ruined my stockings.’ And this woman said, ‘But I love Fonzie!’ ”
The move also brought big changes to Winkler, who had to “grow up” and become a family man. He and Stacey managed to keep their relationship under wraps for a while, but the actor was devoted to her and their son. The couple focused on building an impenetrable core for their family.
Stacey was a steadying influence on him. She was an NYU graduate who started her own fashion PR firm. Winkler described her as having an “iron will,” and her strength was one of the things that attracted Winkler to her.
Though Winkler had been wary of matrimony, he had found the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Two years after their meeting in that Beverly Hills store, they got married at a synagogue in New York. They welcomed two more children into their home, Zoe, who was born in 1980, and Max, in 1983.
Henry Winkler with son Max Winkler and daughter Zoe Emily Winkler arrive at Sony Pictures premiere of “Click” held at the Mann Village Theater on June 14, 2006 in Westwood, California. | Source: Getty ImagesHenry Winkler with son Max Winkler and daughter Zoe Emily Winkler arrive at Sony Pictures premiere of “Click” held at the Mann Village Theater on June 14, 2006 in Westwood, California. | Source: Getty Images
Together, the couple raised their children as Winkler continued to dominate Hollywood. Winkler and his wife put in the effort to have a great relationship. When asked about what it takes to stay married after 44 years, Stacey advised:
”It does take work. There are glitches in the road, and you get a little off kilter, but if you have the ability and the stick-to-itiveness based on love, then your friendship and your relationship only gets better.”
Zoe, who, like her father, suffered from dyslexia, achieved her dream of becoming a teacher. Max followed his dad into show business, writing, directing, and producing.