Listen up! Henry Winkler revealed the secret to maintaining his marriage with his wife, Stacey Winkler, after more than four decades.
The Happy Days alum, 77, said during an exclusive interview with Us Weekly that the key to a successful relationship isn’t the head or the heart. “It is the ear,” he shared while discussing his partnership with Apellis. “It is being able to listen.”
The Scream star and Stacey tied the knot in 1978, two years after meeting at a clothing store in Los Angeles. The pair went on to welcome daughter Zoe, now 43, and son Max, now 39. Winkler is also stepfather to his wife’s son Jed, now 52, from her previous marriage to the late Howard Weitzman.
In recent years, the Parks and Recreation alum’s family has expanded with a total of six grandchildren. “It is such a wonderful experience to be with them,” he gushed. “[We] watch the sports, watch our granddaughters dance, watch my little granddaughter walk the dog around the house. She’s gonna open a dog-walking business pretty soon.”
One of Winkler’s favorite things about being a grandfather is getting to spoil the little ones by taking them out to restaurants and to see shows. “We just saw The Lion King all together,” he told Us.
Whenever he travels for work, however, the Barry actor gets some special souvenir requests. “My oldest grandson, Ace, he’s 11 — and whenever I travel — in the last few months since January, I’ve been in seven or eight cities — I always bring back a shot glass,” the Emmy winner noted. “He has on his shelf all of the shot glasses from wherever Stacey and I go.”
As for his middle grandson, Jules, Winkler teased, “He just gets snow globes.”
The Arrested Development alum’s partnership with Apellis hits close to home, as his father-in-law, Dr. Edward Furstman, suffered from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye disease that causes vision loss. “I watched AMD start to enter his life, and when that happens to somebody that you love, that you enjoy, not only do you feel badly for that person, but it is a wake-up call for you,” the Click star explained.
Now, Winkler is helping to raise awareness for geographic atrophy (GA), an advanced form of AMD, telling Us that listening to your body is just as important as listening to your spouse. “I believe it’s important for being a parent, being a partner, being a grandfather and listening to your body,” he explained. “So that if you notice changes in your body, in your eyesight, you go immediately to your eye doctor.”
Without good eyesight, Winkler and Stacey wouldn’t be able to watch their grandkids grow and thrive. “To be healthy — to have good eyes so I can see them living — is so joyful,” he stated.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi