Henry Winkler loves Liverpool, no doubt about it. The star of Peter Pan is spending Christmas on Merseyside and he has fully embraced the city.
“How am I finding Liverpool? I am just loving it here!” the former Happy Days star told JMU Journalism at a recent book signing.
'The Fonz' was at Waterstone's bookshop in Liverpool One, signing copies of his Hank Zipzer children’s book series as he took time off from his hectic schedule. Fans queued for nearly two hours to meet the 'Happy Days' star at Waterstone's, despite the show being at its peak three decades ago.
Winkler is currently starring as Captain Hook alongside Les Dennis and Natasha Hamilton in the pantomime Peter Pan, showing at the Empire Theatre until January. The show has been going down a treat with crowds.
But what has really impressed everyone so far is Winkler’s appreciation of Liverpool. He’s been spotted all over the city and has been only too happy to chat to locals and pose for pictures.
Spots include him buying some Krispy Kreme donuts at Tesco and picking up some trendy clothes for his nephew at Republic in Liverpool One.
He has already found his favourite place in the city: “San Carlo’s on Castle Street!” he exclaims. “What a delicious restaurant.”
The 64-year-old was in top form at Waterstone's as he posed for photos and signed copies of his books for the many fans who waited patiently to see the native New Yorker.
Many are followers of Winkler from his days as Arthur Fonzarelli, or The Fonz, in the 1970s hit show Happy Days where his slick looks, leather jacket, and motorbike made him the original King of Cool.
“The Fonz was everybody I wasn't. He was everybody I wanted to be,” Winkler once said of his character.
Since the end of Happy Days, Winkler has forged a career as a successful actor, director, producer and author. He has had memorable roles in the Adam Sandler hit movie 'The Waterboy' and the television comedy series 'Arrested Development'.
For the time being he is spending Christmas in Liverpool and loving every minute of it.
In an interview with the Daily Post, Winkler said: “I came here when I was 14 but I don’t remember the city, so now I’ve got to experience Liverpool properly. Everyone is so unbelievably warm.
"I’ve seen the penguins, I even asked one a date, but when I get more time I hope to tour the city. I love The Beatles... I met them all except George and I was a jabbering idiot each time."
By Hugh O'Connell, Features Editor
Henry Winkler stars as Captain Hook in Peter Pan at the Empire; YouTube: Happy Days theme tune