He might have found fame playing The Fonz in Happy Days – but Henry Winkler has now been honoured for his work outside of the showbiz world.
The actor and director was presented with an honorary OBE earlier this week for his work in promoting dyslexia awareness in the UK – and said that he was “honoured” to receive the award.
Henry, 65, was diagnosed with the learning difficulty as an adult, and since then has toured schools across the country to talk about the condition.
He has also penned a series of semi-autobiograpghical children’s books featuring a dyslexic character called Frank Zipzer. The first of these, Niagara Falls Or does It? was published in 2009 and a further 16 books have followed since.
Winkler, who was given the award at the British Embassy in Washington DC said: “Receiving this honour is a very humbling experience. My goal when I started working with children was never to bring accolades on myself, but instead to change how people think about those around them for whom learning is a struggle. I am flattered to have had my work recognised in this manner, and hope to continue showing kids that their learning difficulty isn’t a disability.”
British ambassador Nigel Sheinwald, who presented Winkler with the OBE, added: “Through (Winkler), thousands of young people have seen a role model and an inspiration for overcoming their learning challenges.”
Winkler shot to fame as Arthur ‘Fonz’ Fonzarelli in Happy Days but since the show ended has turned up in numerous TV shows and movies.
His film roles have included the Disney adventure Holes and horror hit Scream as well as a number of Adam Sandler comedies including Click, Little Nicky, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan and The Waterboy.
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