Bronze Fonz now an 'Ayyyy'-list celeb in Milwaukee

TV Arts

Taylor
Bronze Fonz now an 'Ayyyy'-list celeb in Milwaukee
By CARRIE ANTLFINGER – 2 hours ago

MILWAUKEE (AP) — His hair will always be in place, he doesn't mind if
you touch the leather and he's far too heavy to jump the shark.

Thought Arthur Fonzarelli couldn't get any cooler? Meet the bronze
Fonz.

Dozens of people lined the Milwaukee River on Tuesday to cheer the
unveiling of a statue of the "Happy Days" character, including Henry
Winkler himself. The man who was cast as the Fonz — then cast in
bronze — pretended to comb the statue's hair and put his arm around
the smiling, life-size likeness, which is giving two thumbs up.

"To see it in real life and that it exists it's just, it's just
unbelievable. It really is," Winkler told the invite-only crowd and
others gathered nearby trying to hear.

Milwaukee joins at least six other cities around the nation that have
erected statues of classic television or movie characters.

Though no scenes were filmed here, "Happy Days" took place in
Milwaukee during its TV run from 1974 to 1984. Most of the cast was on
hand Tuesday, along with the show's creator, director and producer
Garry Marshall, and actors Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams from the
spin-off "Laverne & Shirley."

Ron Howard, who played Richie Cunningham, was filming a movie and
wasn't able to make it. Winkler's two sons, daughter and wife were
also in the audience.

Garry Marshall was playful at the podium, making the crowd laugh.

"Hi, I'm Penny's brother," he said, referring to his well-known
sister, actress-director Penny Marshall.

The show's executive producer, Thomas L. Miller, talked him out of
basing the show in the Bronx, where the Marshalls grew up, Marshall
said. Miller was born in Milwaukee.

"To think back and I made up a character, you know, and just made it
up but suddenly a man came named Henry Winkler, and he made this
character real."

He then gave Winkler a hug.

The sculptor, Gerald Sawyer, put the initials of Winkler and his wife
in the veins in the hands, "like the David in Italy," Winkler said.

Two booster groups, VISIT Milwaukee and Spirit Milwaukee, helped raise
funds for the statue. The cable network TV Land also contributed.

TV Land fully sponsored six other statues, but since ended the
program. Those are Mary Tyler Moore in Minneapolis; Bob Newhart in
Chicago; Elvis Presley in Honolulu; Ralph Kramden in New York;
Samantha from "Bewitched" in Salem, Mass.; and Andy Griffith in
Raleigh, N.C.

http://ap.google.com/media/ALeqM5j5VYt1m0filrQ9Iwj_J3je9VeTrw?size=m
* Tom Bosley, left, Marion Ross and Henry Winkler, right, attend the
unveiling of a bronze statue of the "Happy Days" character Arthur
Fonzarelli, also known as "The Fonz," Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008, in
Milwaukee. The program, which ran from 1974-1984, was based in
Milwaukee with Winkler portraying the iconic character. (AP Photo/
Carrie Antlfinger)

* http://ap.google.com/media/ALeqM5jTl4003flvbvYMpme95u7asUMIeg?size=m
Garry Marshall attends an unveiling of a bronze statue of the "Happy
Days" character Arthur Fonzarelli, also known as "The Fonz," Tuesday,
Aug. 19, 2008, in Milwaukee. The program, which ran from 1974-1984 and
created by Marshall, was based in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Carrie
Antlfinger)

* http://ap.google.com/media/ALeqM5iSVGYV7HDORczrHBPGE-dpUxG-tg?size=m
Actress and director Penny Marshall, left, poses with her brother
Garry Marshall as they stand with a bronze statue of the "Happy Days"
character Arthur Fonzarelli, also known as "The Fonz," at an
unveiling, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008, in Milwaukee. The program, which
ran from 1974-1984 and was created by Garry Marshall, was based in
Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)

* http://ap.google.com/media/ALeqM5ijfSczVNdtD2aTGmfg5F3lg2ElWA?size=m
Actor Henry Winkler, left, poses with a bronze statue of the "Happy
Days" character he portrayed, Arthur Fonzarelli, also known as "The
Fonz," at an unveiling, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008, in Milwaukee. The
program, which ran from 1974-1984, was based in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/
Carrie Antlfinger)

http://ap.google.com/media/ALeqM5gaWuAAupW4c_fqHQHZbguoeCZpAg?size=m
Actor Henry Winkler, left, poses with his sons Max Winkler, second
left, and Jed Weitzman as they stand with a bronze statue of the
"Happy Days" character Arthur Fonzarelli, also known as "The Fonz," at
an unveiling, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008, in Milwaukee. The program, which
ran from 1974-1984, was based in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Carrie
Antlfinger)

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http://www.tvlandcanada.com/
                                            
King
...bah. "Happy Days" sucked. I was born in Kenosha and raised in 
Oshkosh, so I know what Wisconsin was like in the '50s. It wasn't a 
damned thing like that show. "Happy Days" would have been better set in 
Philadelphia or Buffalo, not Milwaukee...