Winkler has been married to his wife Stacey Weitzman since 1978.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on September 23, 2022. It has since been updated.
In the 70s, Henry Winkler played one of his most memorable characters to date: Fonzie on the hit show, Happy Days. While his professional life took off, it was also the time he laid eyes on his beautiful future wife for the first time. “She was wearing purple parachute pants and she had red hair and without her even saying a word, I thought, Woah, beautiful woman standing in front of me,” Winkler gushed to PEOPLE. The actor met her in 1976 when he was starring as The Fonz on the iconic sitcom. “I came back to the store the next week and was there. And within 10 minutes, I learned how strong she is. 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.” The rest, as they say, was history.
A Hollywood marriage still going strong. Henry Winkler and his wife, Stacey Weitzman were married in 1978 and are still married to this day. 💕 pic.twitter.com/D5w0BODKvn— Groovy History (@GroovyHistory) October 13, 2018
The couple went on to marry two years after in 1978 and later welcomed children, Max, now 39, and Zoe Emily, now 43. Stacey Weitzman was previously married to lawyer Howard Weitzman and shares a son Jed Weitzman, 52. Speaking about her 40+ year marriage to Winkler, she admitted that it takes work to keep a relationship going but it's worth the effort. “The most wonderful thing is to really be able to grow with someone. We’re not the same people we are when we got married. But certain of the tenets you hold dear are still intact. 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 gets better.” The two also share similar interests and it's a huge part of how they've managed to stay together all these years. Added Winkler, “We enjoy fly fishing together. We enjoy grandchildren together. We enjoy going to the movies together. We truly enjoy each other every day.”
It wasn't always "happy days" for the couple as Weitzman faced a health scare not once but twice in her life. According to the New York Times, the 75-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998. She went into remission quickly after but the cancer returned in 2001. Fortunately, she underwent a double mastectomy and has been living cancer-free since then. In 2003, the Barry actor told the Daily Mirror, per Affluent Planet, how scary that time in their lives had been. “When something like that happens, it can really knock you back. It came out of the blue. Thankfully, I’ve always been a positive thinker, but it is frightening when you encounter something over which you have no control. It has taken her some time to regain her strength, but she is getting there. It’s been amazing because we have drawn on a power we didn’t know we had,” Winkler said. “We’ve always been close, but this experience has brought us closer.”
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Emma McIntyre