“Happy Days” star Henry Winkler never saw his grandparents and had a tough childhood due to his “cruel” parents.

    Henry Winkler’s grandkids didn’t know he was famous until once when his oldest grandson dressed like Fonzie from “Happy Days.”

    Henry, 77, is a super grandpa to his six grandchildren despite his tough childhood with “cruel” parents. He also never saw his grandparents.

    “Happy Days” actor Henry Winkler is a wonderful grandpa and relishes his time with his grandchildren. He recently posted a cute video on TikTok, having the time of his life with two of his beautiful grandbabies.

    In the video posted during the Thanksgiving holiday, the actor is seen dancing around the house as he holds one of his grandkids while an older one dances around him.

    Fans called him a fun-loving grandpa, noting that while he was fantastic playing the Fonz or Fonzy on “Happy Days,” he was even more remarkable as a grandfather. Another thought his grandbabies were lucky to have Winkler as their grandpa.

    Why Did Henry’s Grandkids Not Know Who He Is?
    Winkler was a household name in the 70s and 80s with his role as Fonzy and remains one of Hollywood’s most loved actors. His most noticeable film credits include his roles in “Arrested Development,” “Night Shift,” “The Waterboy, ” and his latest, “Black Adam.”


    But aside from being an award-winning actor and garnering such indelible fame over the decades, Winkler is also a doting grandpa to his six grandchildren. Ironically, during an interview with Parade, Winkler disclosed that despite being respected for his roles worldwide, his grandchildren did not know he was such a famous actor.

    He shared that his grandbabies were too young, the youngest being born only last year, and were unaware of how much fame his name carried around the globe and only knew him as “Papa.”

    However, in 2021, Winkler told Seth Meyers that a couple of years prior, he had had the surprise of his life when his oldest grandchild, Ace, discovered he was Fonzie and dressed up as the character for Halloween.

    He told Meyers that he had been at his grandson’s house because he loved being there to hand out candy to kids who came trick-or-treating. He was sitting at the doorstep when Ace appeared dressed as Fonzy.

    He described the look saying Ace wore a fake leather jacket, jeans, and red hair slicked back, and the sight amused him so much such that, in his words:

    “My heart fell out of my body.”

    He then went on to share that, at the time, his grandson had just won his championship baseball game, and from the way he described Ace’s game, it was clear just how proud he was of his grandbaby. He says:

    “It is so much fun being a grandfather.”

    Why Did Henry Never Meet His Grandparents and Calls His Parents “Cruel”?
    Winkler confesses that he grew up in a home where his parents never thought twice about laying a hand or any other object, including a hairbrush, on him.

    A young Henry Winkler | Source: Getty Images

    The actor recalls how severally, his mother would chase and beat him up over trivial things like putting his ear to his breakfast bowl and listening to his cereal cackle.

    He went to bed most nights thinking that he would be a better parent than his were to him. When children at school would say they were going on a trip or having fun with their parents, Winkler often wondered how that was even possible. He says of his parents:

    “They were very critical and sometimes cruel.”

    He had no grandparents to look up to, as they were all taken to concentration camps, and he confesses that today, he has no fun or interesting stories to share about his parents or grandparents. He says:

    “I now see what it’s like being a grandparent and the way people love their grandparents, and I never had that, and I miss that.”

    Max Winkler, Henry Winkler, Stacey Winkler, Zoe Winkler and Jed Weitzman at Sportsmens Lodge on January 29, 2016 in Studio City, California | Source: Getty Images

    Based on his childhood experiences, Winkler vowed to change the narrative once he became a parent. He would be a better parent to his children, and today, he is proud to have raised them differently.

    He has raised his two children, Max and Zoe, in a loving environment alongside his wife of 44 years, Stacey Weitzman. But that’s not all.

    Besides being a dedicated and loving father to his children, he has also extended that grace to his grandchildren. He wants them to grow up differently than he did — with a present and loving grandfather.

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