Residents and guests recently enjoyed “A Conversation with Henry Winkler”at The Barrington of Carmel, Hamilton County’s new LifeCare retirement community, as part of the community’s Red Carpet Speaker Series. As the attendees discovered, Winkler has led a diverse career beyond his most well-known role as “The Fonz” on Happy Days. He has starred in numerous television series and films, but also has been successful behind the scenes as director and producer for more than 20 TV series and specials. While talking with residents and guests, Winkler discussed his career and his love of children’s books. He has written and published several different series and collections. The Barrington community was thrilled to have him come to the campus and discuss his accomplishmentsand his passion for helping others.
“Having Henry Winkler, such a charismatic speaker and world-renowned icon, come to The Barrington and discuss his extensive career and life lessons for this series was a tremendous opportunity we were excited to provide,” said Troy Cannaday, executive director at The Barrington of Carmel. “We all learned a lot about this inspiring individual, and it was an enlightening and uplifting presentation.”
Winkler began writing a series of children’s novels more than a decade ago with his co-author Lin Oliver. These have made The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times Best Sellers lists among others and are inspired by Winkler’s struggle through his education due to his learning challenges with unidentified dyslexia. The stories offer resilience and hope to any reader who has felt overwhelmed or experienced difficulty with learning and finding a sense of belonging. In 2011, he published a collection of stories and observations with photos from his experiences fly fishing in Montana. He has also written other popular children’s stories.
While he has earned Golden Globe Awards, Emmy nominations, the prestigious Humanitas Prize and credit for his Broadway performances, Winkler deeply cherishes the opportunities his visibility and popularity have afforded him to help others. His efforts in his personal commitment to assist with a variety of groups and causes have been recognized by multiple organizations including international awards and titles. Winkler particularly is motivated to help children and is the honorary chairman of United Friends of the Children, founding member of the Children’s Action Network and National Chairman of the annual Toys for Tots campaign. Her majesty Queen Elizabeth II awarded him with an Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his services involving children with special education needs.He along with his wife, Stacey, were honored for their relentless devotion to the “improvement of the human condition” with the Peace Prize by the United Nations and Women in Film’s Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award.
“It was wonderful to hear Winkler tell personal stories about his experiences with our residents and guests. Everyone thoroughly benefited from hearing about his passions and dedication to giving back and helping others,” said Cannaday. “And we all enjoyed the time mingling with him afterward during the book-signing portion as well.”