Fans of the ’70s sitcom Happy Days were thrown for a loop in September when it was reported that star Erin Moran was homeless after she and her husband were kicked out of her mother-in-law’s trailer for excessive partying.
Also feeling the blow was Moran’s former costar Henry Winkler, who in a recent interview with Celebuzz described Moran’s situation as “terrible.”
“I’ve known since she was nine,” Winkler, 67, said of Moran, who played Joanie Cunningham. “We [the cast of Happy Days] got her her first bicycle. If she does not decide it’s time for her [to get better], there is nothing you can do.”
“Every person in the cast loves her,” he continued. “There are no words.”
For his part, Winkler, now 67, has followed a much happier path since the beloved ABC sitcom ended, in 1984.
In addition to costarring in the new Kevin James comedy Here Comes the Boom, he can be seen in the new Broadway play The Performers, in which he plays, of all people, a porn star.
“Ultimately, it’s a play about the heart,” he said of the production, which costars Alicia Silverstone.
In preparation for the part, Winkler claims he didn’t do any research.
“People are going to be so surprised,” he said. “The characters that are written on the page are every human being. Then you add on the condition of, well, I happen to do this for a living and you’re either proud of it or you’re not. It’s about being alive.”
“I went online and I researched interviews,” he added. “The director and writer flew to Vegas and went to the Adult Film Awards and interviewed those people.”
The Performers also marks Winkler’s third time on the Great White Way.
“The first time [I was on Broadway], I opened and closed in one night,” he recalled. “Whatever happens here, I am so happy I said yes.”
That positive attitude has become something of a trademark to Winkler’s Hollywood persona, which he credits to having the ability to do what he loves.
“There are four or five people that I could grab by the throat,” he quipped. “But think about it: I was typecast. I worked my way out of that. What do I care about all that negative stuff if I get to do what I do? I have a movie out right now that is really funny, I’ve written 24 novels for children, the Queen gave me the Order of the British Empire and I’m going to waste my time with negative people? I don’t think so.”
“I leave those people behind. I let them complain and [say], ‘See you later.’”
– Written by Nicki Gostin
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