Henry Winkler and his wife Stacey Weitzman have been together through ups and downs, including her breast cancer diagnosis.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 8, 2021. It has since been updated.
Contrary to what we think Hollywood to be like, some celebrity marriages last for many decades. These celebrities cherish each other and have stayed together through thick and thin. Henry Winkler, 75, and his wife of 42 years, Stacey Weitzman, 73, have one of the longest-lasting marriages in Hollywood. They met when he was part of Happy Days in his iconic role of The Fonz aka Fonzie. People still remember the funny man from his time on the show, and he's continued to hone his talents through the years.
He even won an Emmy for his role as Gene Cousineau on HBO series Barry. It was his first win and sixth nomination, as per Fabiosa. His wife has been accompanying him on the red carpet since they got married in 1978. The couple met in 1976 and it was love at first sight, as per Fox News. They met at a clothing store in Los Angeles, according to Closer Weekly.
The Barry star, who has dyslexia, was there to buy a sports coat at a local store — which was one of Weitzman's PR firm’s clients. He asked her to help pick a coat for himself, and couldn't resist asking her out.
"She was wearing purple parachute pants and she had red hair and without her ever saying a word, I thought, ‘Whoa, beautiful woman standing in front of me,’” the 73-year-old recently told People magazine. However, he didn't ask her out right then. He waited until he returned the next week. "I came back to the store the next week and was there. And within 10 minutes, I learned how strong she is," he said.
"I said, ‘Would you like to go for a soda? I just have to make a quick stop to buy a wedding gift.’ And she said, ‘I am not a gift service!’ But then she changed her mind and we went across the street and had ginger ales," he added.
Their relationship was a bit of a whirlwind as Weitzman and her 4-year-old son moved in with Winkler within weeks. They waited another two years before marrying and went on to have two kids, Zoe, 39, and Max, 36.
The Better Late Than Never actor starred in Happy Days from 1974 to its end in 1984, and while he figured out his path as an actor after the end of the show, it was his wife who was at his side, supporting him.
"The most wonderful thing is to really be able to grow with someone," said Weitzman about their 4-decade-long marriage. "We’re not the same people we were when we got married…. It does take work. There are glitches in the road, and you get a little off-kilter, but if you have the ability and the stick-to-itiveness based on love, then your friendship and your relationship only get better.”
The best part of being together for so long is growing to share interests. “We enjoy fly fishing together,” added Winkler. “We enjoy grandchildren together. We enjoy going to the movies together. We truly enjoy each other every day." Winkler, who has five grandchildren, says his "favorite part is watching them."
"And as a grandparent, you always have a fall guy," added Weitzman. "'You want a hot fudge sundae? Let’s call mom!’ But they work us so hard," said she.
"I’m thrilled to be on this earth, I’m thrilled with my family and I’m thrilled to be doing great work," he said.
When the Weitzman was diagnosed with cancer almost 20 years ago, Winkler stood by her. The mother-of-three found out she had cancer soon after her daughter Zoe went to college, as per New York Times. Even though she received treatment, it came back a few years later, which is when she underwent a double mastectomy. She has been living cancer-free since then.