‘Happy Days’: A Monkee Would Have Taken Henry Winkler’s Role If He Wasn’t So Tall

Henry Winkler on 'Happy Days'
Henry Winkler | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Henry Winkler is best known for his iconic role as the suave female Arthur Arthur Fonzarelli on the famous 70s sitcom, Happy days. And looking back, it’s hard to imagine that anyone else could have played the character as well.

But as it turned out, when the part was being worn, Winkler was not the only actor being considered. It looks like actor and musician Micky Dolenz from The Monkees would have gotten a Winkler role if it hadn’t been for that.

Mickey Dolenz was to become an architect before joining the Monkees

Dolenz began his acting career at the age of 11. He appeared on a children’s show called Circus Boy, in which he played the lead role of Corky, an orphaned young boy who traveled with a circus.

After appearing in a few other concerts, Dolenz went to school for architectural drafting. In an interview in 2015 with Guitar World, the now 75-year-old revealed he was pursuing a career in architecture when he came to test for The Monkees.

Micky Dolenz of the Monkees
Micky Dolenz de na Monkees | Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

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The Monkees it was definitely my second TV series, ”said Dolenz. “I had done a show called Circus Boy in his fifties and went to school for architectural drafting. My plan was to become an architect when The Monkees the laboratory came. ”

When he read the script and learned the basics of the show, Dolenz knew he was in for something really cool. “When I read the pilot script and entered for the first interview, I remember thinking it might be something special,” he said. “There were other shows about music at the time and a number of other pilots that I was up to, but I remember telling everyone I knew that I was hoping to get this one. ”

Henry Winkler came to the role of ‘Happy Days’ with a six-line lab

Over the years, Winkler has proven himself as a master of his craft. Not only did he win three Emmys and two Golden Globes for his performance as Arthur Fonzarelli, but he also went on to win several other awards, including the 2018 Emmy for his career in Barry.

Robin Williams, Ron Howard, and Henry Winkler in a scene from 'Happy Days'
Robin Williams, Ron Howard, and Henry Winkler in a scene from ‘Happy Days’ | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Walt Disney Photo Archives / Television via Getty Images

So it’s no surprise that Winkler woke up the producers when he heard about Happy days. When you talk to The Keeper in 2015, the actor noted that his lab was short and sweet.

“As a child, I was told that I would never accomplish anything, that I was a dumb dog,” Winkler explained. “But I moved to LA in 1973 and two weeks later I went to Paramount Studios for a lab – with hair down to my shoulders and a big sweatshirt because I was deceived. I walked in and said six lines. I believe I did them well because I got the part of Arthur Fonzarelli. ”

Micky Dolenz was the ‘Happy Days’ producer’s first choice for Fonzi

In his interview with Guitar World, Dolenz said he was hearing for Happy days producers because they had been looking for Fonzie’s role. However, because of Dolenz ‘s height – it’ s pretty high – the exhibitors decided to throw Winkler instead.

“He came down to me and Henry Winkler,” Dolenz said. “We are great friends and we still laugh about it. I remember when Henry first walked into the interview. He saw me and said, ‘Oh, crap, Micky Dolenz is here. I will never get it. ‘But I’m so glad he did it because he was a Fonz a lot better than I was. He is the Fonz! ”

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