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HAPPY DAYS Actress Remembers Henry Winkler’s Kindness To Terminally Ill Child

Photo from Linda Purl’s Instagram

HAPPY DAYS Actress Remembers Henry Winkler’s Kindness To Terminally Ill Child

By Movieguide® Contributor

Actress Linda Purl recently recounted how her HAPPY DAYS co-star, Henry Winkler, cared for an a terminally ill child who visited the show’s set. 

The 11 year-old boy used his Make-A-Wish on a set visit to meet with the Fonz.

“Our habit was to get out of costume and makeup, completely put on our robes and our schleppy things, go over to the commissary, have dinner together and go back into hair and makeup,” Purl explained. “Henry would get out of the pompadour, out of the jacket. He would get into whatever he’d come to work in that day.”

“This little boy was coming, and he was going to have dinner [with us]… And Henry comes in, but not as Henry but as the Fonz,” the actress recalled.”I thought, ‘Well, that’s silly. What’s the deal? Just be yourself.’”

Purl continued, “What I failed to realize until I saw it in action was that Henry knew that this young boy was not coming to meet Henry. He wanted to meet the Fonz. And Henry was very clear on the difference between the two. So, we all had dinner with this darling boy and his father. And in this case, Henry had sprung for the rest of the family to be flown out at his own expense. He didn’t even tell us this, but we learned this later.”

The actress remembered the interaction between Winkler and the sick child and commended the actor for the care he put into the conversation. 

“As we’re sitting there… the Fonz was able to say things to this little boy that Henry wouldn’t have been able to say – sort of Fonzi-isms,” Purl shared. “You know, life wisdom of ‘Hang in there, dude. You’re going to be [OK].’ I had to turn away [because] the tears were flowing, most of us did. But Henry stayed strong, and he stayed on his mission and his task for that hour or so with this little boy to give him this treasured time of joy. That’s Henry.”

In addition to spending time with the boy and paying to fly out the rest of his family, Winkler also paid to extend the family’s stay in Los Angeles and worked with the studio to make sure they had a great time. 

Winkler has a reputation for being kind to others. Movieguide® previously reported:

Drew Barrymore recently held an online chat with Henry Winkler, and she shared her appreciation for the HAPPY DAYS alum’s kindness.  

“I wish I was there to give you a hug because when I met you when I was young, you actually changed my life forever because The Fonze—the most important man on the planet—was nice,” Barrymore recalled. “I was like, ‘Then everybody has to be nice because The Fonze is nice.’”

Barrymore continued: “I would clock the way you treated people and there was something about your kindness that made me know that that was the marching order of life.”

Winkler reciprocated Barrymore’s sentiment and said that his kindness comes from a heart of thankfulness. 

“That is one of the most wonderful compliments I’ve ever gotten,” Winkler, 74, said. “I never think of being nice, I think of being grateful. I think that I am so happy that I get to do what I dreamt of doing and it has grown over the years.”

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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