Henry Winkler once saved a suicidal teenager.
The 73-year-old actor was filming ‘Happy Days’ when he received a call at the studio from an Illinois state trooper who asked him to intervene in a potentially-tragic situation and managed to talk the aspiring actor back inside from the ledge he’d been balanced on.
He recalled: “I was on the set of ‘Happy Days’… there were two telephones, one is an outside line and one is to the studio, you could call the writers and they’d come down…
“So the phone rings and they say, ‘Henry it’s a call for you.’
“I walked over to the phone and the man said, ‘Hi I’m Sgt. Joe Brown’ – that’s not his name – ‘I’m sorry to bother you. I have a 17-year-old kid on the ledge. And he is threatening to jump off and he will only talk to you.’
“And I don’t know where I got the nerve to take the phone and start talking to this kid.
“I said, ‘OK, what is your name. OK John, how old are you? You’re 17, you’re on the ledge, why do you want to jump?’ ‘I wanna be an actor.’ ‘OK, you’re 17 and you haven’t made it yet. Let me ask you a question – do you have a record collection?’
“He said yes, I said, ‘OK, before you jump John will you just will them to me? OK, Good. If you get off the ledge, let’s talk about acting. Hand the phone… Alright, you’re inside now?’
“‘I was 27 when I got the Fonz, John. I think you’ve got 10 good years to keep trying. How ’bout that? Will you do that? OK. Can I get back to rehearsing? Thank you.’ “
Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel exclaimed: “You saved his life!”
The ‘Barry’ star is still stunned he had the “nerve” to take control of the situation.
He added: “I have not thought about that story in a while. I don’t know where I got the nerve to talk to him and I just thought, ‘I’m gonna maybe take him in another direction.”
He then quipped: “And I never got the records.”