Author: Zoe Forster

Henry Winkler, American Jewish actor, producer, director and author, spoke at the Schwartz Center Wednesday, September 17th as a part of the Cornell Hillel Major Speaker Series. Henry talked about the obstacles he overcame in pursuit of becoming a major Hollywood actor. His entertaining pictures along with his charisma and humor permeated the audience. Here are 7 reasons why everyone wants to be Henry Winkler’s best friend.


1. He’s determined Despite his learning disabilities as a child and a lack of support from his parents, Henry followed his dream to become an actor.  He quoted Theodor Herzl, founder of the Zionest movement for striving toward a Jewish national state, saying, “If you will it, it is no dream.”


Henry Winkler at Cornell University | Photographer: Mariel Terr


2.  He’s passionate and caring “Everyone has their own way to learn. We have got to start dealing with everyone, not just the top 10%. Also the bottom 10%. We have to be the most we can be because we can take action for the most vulnerable in our society.” Henry now writes children’s books based on his personal experience overcoming dyslexia. The series, Hank Zipzer, focuses on laughter, friendship, and empathy.


Henry Winkler at Cornell University | Photographer: Mariel Terr


3. He’s insightful “There is no way to live your life. There is your way to live your life. You will know in your instinct what is right and what is wrong.” He reminds us that we should never second guess ourselves.

4. He’ll inspire you “Everyone one of you is powerful. Your job is to figure out what your gift is even if it is a different journey that what you expected.” As Cornell students, we often feel pressured to pursue a certain career path. With this, he encourages us not to be afraid of the unknown.


Henry Winkler at Cornell University | Photographer: Mariel Terr


5. He doesn’t care what other people think of him While he studied at the Yale School of Drama, Winkler made some money on the side by doing commercials. His fellow students were appalled that he would stoop so low.

6. He loves his dogs “I just put them in because they are fabulous.”


Henry Winkler at Cornell University | Photographer: Mariel Terr


7. He has weird hobbies “Fly fishing makes you one with yourself…and whatever you believe in.”


Henry Winkler at Cornell University | Photographer: Mariel Terr