If there is one person anyone would want as a big brother then that person would have to be Arthur ‘Fonzie’ Fonzarelli, the character from Happy Days. The Fonz was never supposed to be a major character in the show but due to his popularity he eventually became the lead. By the mid-1970s Fonzie dwarfed the other characters in popularity and had become a global phenomenon. Everyone who was bullied, anyone who needed a friend, they all wanted a big brother just like Fonzie.
Henry Winkler’s portrayal of The Fonz won him two Golden Globes and three Primetime Emmy nominations and the 1999 TV Guide ranked him as number 4 on its 50 Greatest TV characters of All Time!
It is very doubtful that our Queen ever watched Happy Days but yesterday she decided to award Henry Winkler with an honorary OBE for his work with dyslexic children in the UK. Henry suffered with dyslexia as a child and overcame this disadvantage to become an actor and learn scripts for television and film work. Through his role as The Fonz he has used his position as a role model and inspiration to write books for children about the fictional Kank Zipzer – a boy who has dyslexia. The experiences of Kank are based on his own childhood struggles.
Yesterday, he described his receiving the honour as being “a very humbling experience”. He added; “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.”
The Bears would like to make Arthur ‘Fonzie’ Fonzarelli a Hero of The Bears, not because of his work with children for which he has received the award from The Queen but because we cannot think of anyone who we would rather have as our Big Brother!