When actor Henry Winkler was playing "The Fonz" on Happy Days, you might have assumed that he was a ladies man like the beloved character he is known for. But despite working in the wild town of Hollywood for decades, Winkler has been happily married to his wife Stacey Weitzman since the '70s.
Winkler met his future wife for the first time back in 1976, and as he told People, it was love at first sight. He walked into a Los Angeles clothing store trying to find a coat and Stacey was there as the store was one of her PR firm's clients. He asked for her help and so she did.
"She was wearing purple parachute pants and she had red hair and without her even saying a word, I thought, Woah, beautiful woman standing in front of me," Winkler said.
When Winkler came back to pick up his jacket, he saw Stacey again and knew he needed to make his move. He invited her to get a soda across the street and they enjoyed a couple of ginger ales together. Just weeks later, Stacey had moved in with him along with her son from a previous marriage, Jed Weitzman, who was four years old at the time. Two years later, the couple married at the same synagogue in New York City where Winkler had his bar mitzvah. At the time, he was one of the biggest stars on television due to his Happy Days fame, which Stacey told People could get a bit crazy.
"People would rush up to Henry and literally walk over my feet," She said. "One time I said, 'You've just completely ruined my stockings.' And this woman said, 'But I love Fonzie!'"
Despite all the craziness of the entertainment industry, Winkler and his wife of over 40 years remain totally devoted to each other. Stacey explains that it has been so nice to grow with him over the years and become the people they are today together.
"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."
In addition to Jed, the couple welcomed two more children together — son Max Winkler and daughter Zoe Emily Winkler. While Winkler continued to act, never slowing down, Stacey became a stay at home mom to provide a little stability for her children in the often frenzied world of Hollywood, California.
Soon after Zoe moved out of the house for college, Stacey was diagnosed with breast cancer. When it came back a second time years later, Stacey had a double mastectomy and is currently cancer-free.
Zoe got married in 2009 and became a school teacher. She told the New York Times that she was inspired to teach after struggling with dyslexia like her father.
"I don't want anyone else to ever feel stupid" she explained.
The happy couple recently hit the red carpet together in 2018 and 2019 to celebrate Winkler's Emmy Award nominations for the HBO series Barry. In 2018, his role as Gene Cousineau on the show earned him the first Emmy win of his career.
Winkler explains that the best part of his long marriage to Stacey is that they really do enjoy each other's company after all these years.
"We enjoy fly fishing together. We enjoy grandchildren together. We enjoy going to the movies together. We truly enjoy each other every day."
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