Henry Winkler shares his kids Jed, Zoe and Max wife Stacy Weitzman
Henry began building a family in 1978 when he married PR executive Stacey Weitzman. In 2019, he told PEOPLE the secret to their long, happy marriage. “We enjoy fly fishing together. We enjoy grandchildren together. We enjoy going to the movies together. We truly enjoy each other every day.”
When Henry and Stacey met, she already had her son Jed, who was 4 years old, from a previous marriage. Just a few years after marrying, Henry welcomed his first child with Stacey, daughter Zoe in 1980. Three years later in 1983, they had their son Max. The Winkler family is tight-knit and very close. When Henry won his 2018 Emmy for Barry he joked that he'd penned his acceptance speech, “43 years ago,” before giving a shout-out to his wife and then joking with his kids, “Kids, Jed, Zoe, and Max, you can go to bed now, daddy won!”
So, which of Henry’s kids inspired him to write his memoir? And which runs a successful nonprofit that puts on star-studded galas? Here's everything to know about Henry Winkler's kids.
Jed Weitzman, 52
Stacey already had her son Jed, who was 4-years-old, when she met Henry. On the Tamron Hall Show, Henry recalled meeting Jed on his very first date with Stacey. The date took place during the height of Henry’s Happy Days fame and Jed was already a huge Fonzie fan.
“I was a candle on his cake before I ever met him,” Henry told Hall on her show.
He added, “When I picked up Stacey for her and my first date, the door opened and there’s a little four-year-old, and he said, ‘Hi, Fonz!’ ”
When Jed hit middle school, he and Henry both discovered they had dyslexia. “In third grade he had to write a report and couldn't do it,” Henry told PEOPLE in 2023. “I said to him everything that was said to me: ‘Go back to your room. You're being lazy. Live up to your potential. You're so verbal.’ I then had him tested and we read everything they said. I went, 'Oh my God, Stacey, this is me. I have something with a name.' "
That moment of realization didn’t happen until Henry was 31. In his memoir Being Henry: The Fonz…and Beyond he wrote, “I didn't find out I was severely dyslexic until I was thirty-one. For all the years before that, I was the kid who couldn't read, couldn't spell, couldn't even begin to do algebra or geometry or even basic arithmetic.” His other two children Zoe and Max would both later be diagnosed with dyslexia as well.
Today, Jed is a businessman who works in the entertainment industry. He is currently head of music at ticketing platform, Logitix.
Zoe Winkler, 43
Henry and Stacey welcomed daughter Zoe in 1980.
After graduating from Loyola Marymount University, Zoe worked as a nursery school teacher for several years, which led her to meet her husband, Rob Reinis. Reinis is an actor who held recurring roles on series like Just Shoot Me (2000-2002) and Mad TV (2005-2007). According to a The New York Times profile on the couple, they met in 2005 after the mother of one of Zoe’s preschool students set them up on a date. Apart from a brief breakup, the two continued growing their relationship and finally got married in 2009.
“She was the cutest thing I’d ever seen,” Reinis told the Times. When exchanging vows, Zoe told her new husband, “It was hard for me to leave home, and with you I feel I am home.” Zoe and Rob have since welcomed three sons.
In 2018, Zoe transitioned into a humanitarian role after co-founding the nonprofit This is About Humanity. The organization helps families and children who were separated at the US-Mexico border by raising awareness and offering resources and assistance.
Zoe told The Hollywood Reporter that she was inspired to launch the organization after seeing the conditions migrants were living in at border holding facilities. “I could not get the images out of my head of these children,” she told the publication. “I have a 1-year-old, a 3-year-old, and a 6-year-old, and having them separated from me would be, I don’t know that they would make it. I mean it’s so damaging and we’re living in such a scary time as it is right now that I feel like I never in my life thought I would become an activist, but I don’t have any other choice.”
In a 2022, Henry revealed that he once hosted a massive gathering for Zoe’s organization … but didn’t know it until he got the invite. “We got an invitation that read, ‘Come because your daughter and her friends are having an event,’” Winkler said at the event, according to Today. “And then we look to where we were going, it was our house!”
The event ended up being loaded with celebrity attendees, including Kim Kardashian, Idina Menzel, Zoey Deschanel, Francia Raisa, and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Per Today, Gellar has been an especially close ally to This is About Humanity and has taken numerous trips to the border with the organization, including one where she helped rebuild a facility for abandoned LGBTQ+ youth.
Max Winkler, 40
Henry and Stacey welcomed son Max in 1983.
Max takes after his dad and has had a successful career in Hollywood, but instead of acting, he spends most of his time behind the camera as a director, producer, and writer. He’s directed multiple episodes of hit series like New Girl, American Horror Story, and its anthology spin-off series, American Horror Stories.
In a 2023 interview on The Talk, Henry said that his son had always wanted to work in Hollywood. “My son Max told us at 10 that he wanted to be a director,” the Happy Days star told the hosts, “he kept his word.”
In the same interview, Henry also said that his son’s work as a director helped him earn one of his most prominent roles. “My son is very strict,” Henry said. “My son directed me in my audition for Barry. I had the script, I said ‘Max, will you take a look at it?’ I’m sitting at my desk, he’s standing over me, I’m reading it, and he says ‘Dad … respect the writer!’ ”
Winkler went on to explain that he sometimes improvises because of his dyslexia, but his son told him, “Not this time. There’s an exclamation point at the end of that sentence … use it.” But Max’s coaching worked because not only did Henry land the role on Barry, but the actor ended up receiving four Emmy nominations, winning once in 2018.
In 2019, Max directed the boxing film Jungleland which starred Charlie Hunnam. Also in the cast was British actress Jessica Barden. According to NME, Max and Jessica fell in love while filming and eventually married in 2021. Later that same year they had their first child, a daughter.
Speaking to NME in 2023, Jessica shared how much her life has changed since marrying Max and moving to LA – and now having Henry as a father-in-law and meeting Max’s friends like Jonah Hill.
“Jonah’s exactly what you want him to be like,” she said, “he’s hilarious.” She also said that Henry likes to come over and hang out. “He’ll call us on the weekend on Sunday morning and go, ‘Is there going to be a soccer match this weekend?’ ”
Max also helped encourage his dad to write his memoir. In December 2023, Henry appeared on the Tamron Hall Show as part of his press tour for his book. What he didn’t know was that Max had taped a special video message for his dad, which Hall played.
“Dad, congratulations on your book coming out,” Max says at the start of the video. “I love you very much and I’m so excited for the rest of the world to read this beautiful thing you’ve written. I think it’s going to inspire a lot of people, and I think you should consider whoever gave you the idea to write this book, consider giving them a 10% piece of the sales, just because it feels like the right thing to do.”
Henry immediately began laughing and Hall asked, “He’s got 10% coming?” Henry then shouted on stage, “Ten percent? On my life!”
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