There was a Fonz fans frenzy as legendary television star Henry Winkler brought Happy Days to the region.
The 1970s American sitcom star may have been used to only female attention as a young actor, but yesterday followers of all ages and both sexes turned out in large numbers to see him.
As part of a two-week nationwide tour, The Fonz, as he was known in the show Happy Days, arrived at Blackheath Library for a children’s reading festival, organised by Sandwell Council.
The best-selling author, who has written 23 books, is raising awareness of the needs of children who have learning challenges and using his own experience of growing up with dyslexia.
He then hopped to the Merry Hill shopping centre in Dudley where he held a book-signing event, meeting and talking to about 100 fans – mostly beaming parents with their children.
First in the queue was Luisa Nixon and her son Ethan, aged nine, who waited almost an hour to see him perform a magic trick and sign a book. Ethan, who lives with his mother in Alvechurch, Birmingham, said: “I really like his books, it was fantastic meeting him, and his magic trick was amazing.”
Mrs Nixon, aged 34, said: “It’s great to finally meet him, he engaged so well with all the children, it was wonderful.”
Also in the queue was Russells Hall hospital nurse Gaynor Dean, 39, and her mother Mary Dean, 71. Gaynor, who lives with her mother in Ashwood Park, Wordsley, said: “I am also dyslexic and, for me, Henry is an inspiration, I absolutely love his books. We also used to watch Happy Days, so he is very much a star to us.”
The Fonz said yesterday: “It is one of my favourite things to do, going out and meeting all these fabulous people.
“The tour is about promoting the fact I have written 23 novels and letting the children know, every one of them, that they are great. I like to thank everyone for watching the Happy Days too.”