For more than 40 years, Henry Winkler has graced television screens across the world. His work on Happy Days brought him into our hearts and homes – and he’s stuck around ever since. Sadly, Henry’s sat back and watch actor after actor take home Emmy awards for their work, never receiving one himself.
As a television actor primarily, an Emmy is the highest recognition one can receive. So it naturally irked Henry that he was never the one to saunter onto the stage and deliver a tear-jerking acceptance speech. But this year was different.
At 72 years old, Henry took home the Emmy for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.”
Henry’s IMBD page boasts more than 125 roles in movies and television shows since 1964. Besides his well-known role on Happy Days, Henry’s worked on megahit projects like Arrested Development, Click, The Waterboy, Parks and Recreation, and many others. But his most recent success came from the critically acclaimed HBO series Barry.
In the show, he plays a man named Gene Cousineau, an acting teacher in Los Angeles who is admired by his students. Henry’s hilarious demeanor is a natural fit for the script, and that’s why he was nominated for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series” in the 70th Annual Emmy Awards.
Even though Henry was nominated, he knew actually winning the category was going to be a long shot. The other nominees were Titus Burgess from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Louie Anderson from Baskets, Alec Baldwin for his work on Saturday Night Live, Brian Tyree Henry from Atlanta, Tony Shalhoub from the evening’s big winner, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Kenan Thompson, also for his role on Saturday Night Live.
After more than four decades in the entertainment industry, Henry didn’t get his hopes up. Instead, he dressed in a sharp-looking suit (like he had done countless Emmy nights before) and headed to the venue.
But when his nomination category rolled around and his name was called, Henry was left in shock…
Breathlessly, Henry delivered an acceptance speech the Fonz would definitely approve of – he said:
“I only have 37 seconds; I wrote this 43 years ago. Skip Brittenham said to me a long time ago, ‘If you stay at the table long enough, the chips come to you,’ and tonight I got to clear the table.”
He went on to thank the rest of the cast and crew on Barry, several other professionals, and his beloved family. True to his recognizable sense of humor, Henry told his kids it was time to get to bed. His youngest child is 35 years old…
“I can’t stop yet. My wife, Stacey. Oh my God. My cast and crew, and the kids! Kids! Jed, Zoe and Max, you can go to bed now! Daddy won!”
It’s been a long time coming, and the chips definitely did come back to Henry. He’s been a staple in Hollywood for decades and this award is well-deserved. Not only are we proud of Henry for his accomplishment, but we’re in awe of his grace and patience over the years!
Henry truly is a class act.
Take a peek at Henry’s acceptance speech in full below. He deserves this more than anyone!