Henry Winkler has been working as an actor in Hollywood for almost exactly half a century, and he has no plans to retire any time in the foreseeable future.
The actor, who is 77 years old, has recently had a lot of success in his career, including receiving his first Primetime Emmy Award in 2018 for his supporting role as Barry’s Gene Cousineau. Despite these achievements, the actor has said that he does not have a specific plan for when he would retire.
At the premiere of the fourth season of Barry, which took place on Sunday in Los Angeles, Winkler discussed his future intentions with PEOPLE and said, “I have no license for that.” “There’s simply something about that sensation. I will quit when it is absolutely necessary for me too.”
The dark comedy series helmed by Bill Hader has garnered Winkler three Emmy nominations, the most recent of which was for this year’s awards. Winkler has said that the program rates just as high for him as his past career-altering performances, such as Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli in Happy Days.
“This has got to be right up there,” he adds of his job as the acting instructor and mentor. “This has got to be right up there.” “I mean, oh my goodness,” the speaker said. This was a boon bestowed upon us by the gods. Truly.”
Since he got his start in 1974 in the successful comedy as Fonzie, Henry Winkler has done a lot of different things, but he believes that the ongoing struggle of understanding a character is what keeps him interested in acting all these years later.
“It’s the puzzle,” he explains in his professional life. “Taking all of these parts and putting them together to become a person. Each and every one of these years is a piece of the puzzle.”
It certainly doesn’t hurt that the program has such a stellar lineup of actors and actresses. “It takes you to another place,” he says of working with Hader, Anthony Carrigan, Sarah Goldberg, and others like them.
“Being on this show gives you a tremendous amount of pride,” Winkler says further. “It’s an honor.”
Hader, who plays the eponymous hitman Barry, who finds a new community in an L.A. theatrical company, added to his plate by directing all eight episodes of the program for its fourth and final season. In addition to acting as the co-creator and executive producer of the show, Hader took on this additional responsibility.
“This is where Bill wanted to be,” Winkler says of the series star to PEOPLE. “Saturday Night Live was a detour from his dream, and I’ve been watching him perform there from the very first season all the way up until now.” He was the director for all eight. He is responsible for all of them, having originated them, produced them, written them, acting in them, and now directing them. There was not even a tremor in the sea. There is not a single instance in which you say to yourself, “Oh my God, he must be stressed. My nerves are frazzled. Oh, you are so kind.’”
Hader, 44, was complimented by the former Arrested Development star as being “instantly funny,” and the former cast member added, “Oh my God, I adore him.”
Even though performing has kept him extremely busy, Henry Winkler nevertheless found time to sit down and think about his illustrious career that spans decades for his forthcoming biography entitled “Being Henry.”
The process of delving into his life and recollections was “so scary,” he tells PEOPLE. The book focuses on the highs and lows of his career, his rough upbringing, and the pressure he endured following Happy Days.
Winkler utters the words, “It is so terrifying.” “What are the repercussions if they aren’t interesting? What would happen if I forgot to include something? What would happen if I didn’t disclose that one of the children is superior to the other? If not because of Barry, then because of my children, I’ll be passed.”
Even though it was challenging, the act of writing enabled Winkler to reflect on his life. As a result, he came to the conclusion that he was “less in touch with my authentic self.”
“The journey allowed me to connect,” he said, “and it is freeing.”