The Fonz has finally won an Emmy! After 54 years in show business, Henry Winkler claimed the prize Monday night. The TV icon won the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series prize for his role as Gene Cousineau, Barry Berkman’s (Bill Hader) lovable acting coach, on the HBO comedy Barry.
“I only have 30 seconds but I wrote this 40 years ago,” Winkler said in his acceptance speech. His speech concluded with a special message for his kids: “Jed, Zoey and Max! You can go to bed now. Daddy won!”
Winkler has been nominated six times for an Emmy over the past four decades. Three of the nominations came from his days as Arthur Fonzarelli, or “the Fonz,” on Happy Days. The fourth came in 1979 for his narration on the documentary Who Are the Debolts and How Did They Get 19 Kids? And the most recent nomination was for a guest role on The Practice in 2000.
Winkler talked with ET about his winning role and the show when Barry first debuted.
“I auditioned. I read the script. I knew, I’m reading something wonderful here. I’ve read a lot of scripts over the years for pilots,” he said. “For men my age, it’s usually, ‘Oh, hold on a minute.’ [He mimes covering the receiver of a phone.] ‘Turn in your badge. Take a few days off.’ And look what I got to do,” the 72-year-old actor said.
Speaking with ET’s Kevin Frazier after his big win on Monday, Winkler said he owed his son for helping him get the gig — and the trophy. “Max, he did help direct my audition in my house,” he said. “The first thing I’m going to do is take a shower because it is hot… [and then] I’m going to call my children.”
The Fonz had a sweet connection with Ron Howard during the Emmy show. “He called me. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time and he said, ‘Look I’m going to the Emmys, I hope we can hug. And we did,” Winkler explained.
Pals at the Emmys pic.twitter.com/lLHoadkltP
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) September 17, 2018