If you’ve ever wanted to be as cool as the Fonz, here’s your opportunity. Henry Winkler, the actor who played charismatic greaser Arthur Fonzarelli in the classic sitcom Happy Days, was almost always seen on the show in his trademark leather jacket. Aside from one of the screen-used jackets previously donated to the Smithsonian, very few others are known to exist, but Winkler himself had kept two for himself which he’s kept all these years.
Now, it’s time for the Fonz to say goodbye to one jacket, as Winkler is selling it through an upcoming auction set to take place on Nov. 7 at Bonhams in Los Angeles. The leather jacket is one part of a complete outfit for the Fonz that includes an original pair of blue jeans, white t-shirt, and black biker boots. The collection is estimated to sell for somewhere from $50,000 to $70,000. They are part of the 26-lot Henry Winkler Collection of Bonhams’ TCM sale, which includes memorabilia from his other projects as well.
“During the pandemic, I had the urge for spring cleaning except that it lasted for a year and a half,” recently told THR. “I found 27 boxes and those boxes were filled with memorabilia from Happy Days to The Waterboy to Scream. [It includes] the book that I held on the sidelines in The Waterboy for making plays [plus] two masks from Scream that I cut on screen and the prop people gave me them because they weren’t going to be used again.”
Along with his two jackets, Henry Winkler believes there are only five other Fonzie leather jackets in existence. This includes the one located at the Smithsonian and two that were kept by series creator Garry Marshall. The first one he ever worse was, unfortunately, stolen from the costume department at Paramount and hasn’t been relocated. Another jacket was destroyed when the crew “ripped out the lining” for the infamous shark-jumping episode. While he’s keeping one jacket, Winkler admits he couldn’t try on the one he’s selling as he “would have wept.”
Other items up for auction include a Scream mask, a screen-worn jacket from Ron Howard’s Night Shift, and cowboy boots from both The Lords of Flatbush and Happy Days. Some of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to support This Is About Humanity, a nonprofit co-founded by Zoe Winkler, Henry’s daughter. As Winkler explains, “She started this with two friends to take care of the children who were separated from their parents at the border.”
These days, Henry Winkler says he still keeps in touch with the Happy Days family. The actor says he plans on taking out Marion Ross to lunch for her 93rd birthday and speaks all the time with fellow cast members Ron Howard, Anson Mount, and Donny Most. Nowadays, he works with a new TV family on the HBO series Barry, which co-stars Bill Hader. The show is currently in production on season 3. Winkler also revealed that he pays tribute on Barry by wearing a tie formerly owned by Happy Days creator Garry Marshall.
“I wear Garry Marshall’s tie as a tribute to my mentor,” Winkler said. “It was an actual tie of his that was given to me by the family. I miss him all the time.”