Henry Winkler’s one rule before reluctantly agreeing to dancing on TikTok with his grandkids was simple: No F-word.
“I am only a TikTok star because my granddaughter India said, ‘Papa, you have to make a video,’” the “Barry” actor, who has six grandchildren, tells Page Six about his newest job title.
One of his other granddaughters, Lulu, was in charge of music selection and that’s where “Papa” put his foot down.
“We threw a lot of songs out because I said, ‘I cannot have the word f–k in the music,” he explains. “That’s it, I don’t have a lot of requests but that’s one of them. So we had to go through a lot of songs and then we did it and boom.”
In the video, which was posted on New Year’s Day and set to “When I Grow Up” by The Pussycat Dolls, the 76-year-old actor joyously dances with India and Lulu and his grandson, Ace.
He’s also posted a video of himself in April crooning an “apple” song to his baby granddaughter, Frances, which explains that “apples are red and apples are green and some are yellow,” which has been viewed more than a million times.
“It took me a long, long time to write,” he jokes. “I have been singing this song to Frances since she was 2 months old and now she’s 7 months old. And I cannot wait for the day when she sings it with me.”
Winkler shares two children, Max Winkler and Zoe Emily Winkler, with his wife of 44 years, Stacey Weitzman. He also has a stepson from Weitzman’s previous marriage to Howard Weitzman.
The New York-born actor — who became a star playing Fonzie on “Happy Days” — is currently in the midst of another career-high on HBO’s “Barry.”
And while his character on the series, drama teacher named Gene Cousineau, is comically conceited, Winkler says he never had to worry about turning into that during the intense adulation around “Happy Days.”
“People would talk to me,” he says. “And they would say, ‘Wow. You walk on water. Wow. You know, you are this or you are that.’ And I thought to myself, now, that can’t be true. I’m not taller than I was. I certainly don’t know geometry better than I did. So I never allowed what they said to become a reality right inside.”
Winkler is also working on a memoir, telling us, “I don’t want it to be another autobiography by a celebrity. I want it to be a compelling story that people love turning the pages of. That’s my dream.”
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