HamptonsFilm Club: Henry Winkler + Bob Balaban

HENRY WINKLER has spent the past four decades as an award-winning actor, producer, director, best-selling author, children’s advocate and humanitarian.

A 1973 audition forever changed the life of the Yale School of Drama graduate when cast in the iconic role of Arthur Fonzarelli, aka “The Fonz,” in the TV series Happy Days. He won two Golden Globe Awards, was nominated three times for an Emmy, and was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Both his famous leather jacket and lunch box were exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum in 1980.

His most recent co-starring role on the hit comedy Barry garnered an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor, the Television Critics Choice Award, and nominations for a Golden Globe and SAG Award. He has appeared in many TV series and movies, won many awards, and is executive producer of the new MacGyver series. He produced the ABC documentary Who Are the DeBolts and Where Did They Get 19 Kids?, which won the prestigious Humanitas Prize.

Winkler has always been concerned about the quality of children’s television programming, producing shows for young audiences, including Happily Ever After for PBS and its sequel, Two Daddies to Love Me. Additional specials include Run, Don’t Walk, and All the Kids Do It, which was about teenage drunk driving (he also directed). He wrote The New York Times best-selling book, Niagara Falls or Does It?. And Hank Zipzer the World’s Greatest Under-Achiever, which also became a bestseller, was inspired by Winkler’s struggle throughout his education due to his learning challenges. He and his co-author have written 34 children’s novels. Their new book, Alien Superstar, will be published on October 1.

Winkler has always believed in helping others and is especially passionate about children. A featured speaker at WE Day Celebrations, he is Honorary Chairman of United Friends of the Children; Founding Member of the Children’s Action Network; the first National Honorary Chairman of the Epilepsy Foundation of America; National Chairman of the annual Toys for Tots campaign; the National Committee for Arts for the Handicapped; the Special Olympics; and the Los Angeles Music Center’s Very Special Arts Festival for children who are physically challenged; and has also participated in numerous teenage alcohol and drug abuse programs.

He is the recipient of many awards, including B’nai B’rith, Peace Prize by the United Nations and Women in Film’s Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award, and the Chevallier de l’Ordre des Artes et Lettres, the French government’s highest honor. In addition, Winkler was one of 10 individuals honored by AARP with their 2010 Inspire Award.

BOB BALABAN is an award-winning actor, producer, director, and best-selling author. We are very grateful to say he is also a long-time HamptonsFilm Board member. He was a producer, creator, and co-star of Robert Altman’s classic GOSFORD PARK, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award and won BAFTA and SAG Awards. He produced and directed HBO’s multi-nominated “Bernard and Doris,” starring Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes, and directed Lifetime’s “Georgia O’Keeffe,” starring Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen.

Bob produced and directed the award-winning off-Broadway play The Exonerated, was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in The Government Inspector, and has appeared in over one hundred movies, including MIDNIGHT COWBOY,  CATCH-22,  ALTERED STATES, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, ABSENCE OF MALICE, CAPOTE, THE MONUMENTS MEN, five Christopher Guest movies, and four Wes Anderson films. On TV, he re-occurred on Seinfeld, The Good Wife, Girls, The Politician, and Condor, and was nominated for an Emmy for his appearance in HBO’s “Recount.”

Bob wrote a book about his experiences on CLOSE ENCOUNTERS called Spielberg, Truffaut and Me, and a best-selling series of children’s books called McGrowl.