Henry Winkler, '67

Actor, author

Henry Winkler

Q.  What are you currently working on?

I am living the needle-pointed phrase “When it rains, it pours.” I play the much-maligned, misunderstood, a-little-wayward father, Edward R. Lawson, on Royal Pains on USA NetworkI play the hospital administrator on the deconstructionist comedy Children’s Hospital on the Cartoon Network. A book of my photographs taken while fly-fishing for trout is coming out for Father’s Day 2011. And, I am writing a brand-new children’s series of novels with my partner, Lin Oliver, for Scholastic. The series will come out in 2012.

Q.  Could you describe one person, experience, or series of events at Emerson that shifted the course of your career and that illustrates one of Emerson’s core attributes of creativity, collaboration, risk taking, and excellence? 

First and foremost, Emerson College accepted me into its family. Being dyslexic and not having done well at all in high school, it was an act of kindness I will not forget.

Emerson’s size allowed me to be cushioned while growing up and at the same time to know my college community really well during my four wonderful years. I was able to be part of the theater world, the fledgling television broadcast world, and the social world that made up Emerson.

The experience of putting on a play, studying scenes, or doing a television show directed by my fraternity brother Jeff Goldstein ’66 (broadcast and special project supervisor), helped me understand how important discipline and concentration were for the profession I dreamed of.

Charlotte Lindgren, my English professor, was one of the first teachers in my life who understood me and did not judge my learning challenge. Leo Nickole (professor emeritus of Performing Arts) taught me my first lesson in humility. They both eventually became my mentors at Emerson.

Q.  Are you professionally connected to other Emersonians?

No matter what production company or production I visit, there is always an Emersonian representing the College. Emerson is everywhere in Hollywood, and I am proud to call Vinny Di Bona ’66 (executive producer, Vin Di Bona Productions) my brother and friend.

Q.  What’s the single most important piece of advice you’d like to give to Emerson students?           

First of all, Emerson has some of the best facilities of any theater program anywhere. It is also located in a town that is large enough to gain your independence and small enough to make your own. And I highly recommend silk long underwear during the winter months.

The old adage is still so true: What you put in is what you get out. The enthusiasm you bring with you to the campus will pay you back with knowledge, pride, professionalism, and reputation.

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