After walking out on Hank, Evan, and their dying mother more than twenty years ago, Eddie R. Lawson (Henry Winkler), the brothers' estranged father, reappeared in the Hamptons a few summers ago, intent on rebuilding his relationship with his sons. While Evan welcomed their charming father with open arms, Hank was less than warm, given Eddie's track record and recent squandering of HankMed funds. But with persistence and some good old-fashion charm, Eddie managed to find a place for himself in his sons' new lives in the Hamptons. He began dating one of HankMed's most frequent patients, the eccentric Ms. Newberg (Christine Ebersole), and ingratiated himself with the community.
And just when Hank was willing to give Eddie a second chance, Boris revealed Eddie's latest shady business dealings, and Eddie was sentenced to time in prison. While the Lawson boys were disappointed, they were proud of their father for coming clean and facing the music.
Prison proved to be a turning point for the once-roguish older Lawson. While there, Eddie began mentoring and helping prisoners less fortunate than him. Upon his release, Eddie published his teachings and lectures in a self-help book he entitled: "L.I.F.E. - Life Is For Enjoying." And as his book reached the best-seller lists, Eddie embarked on a motivational/book tour to support it, but not before returning to the Hamptons first. Through it all, Eddie's gotten closer with Hank and Evan, gained his sons' respect, and become the father he always wanted to be.
Henry Winkler guest stars as Eddie R. Lawson in the hit USA Network original series ROYAL PAINS.
With a career in Hollywood that has spanned nearly three decades, Winkler has enjoyed success on screens both large and small, as well as on the stage and behind the camera. Born in New York City, he earned his B.A. in drama from Emerson College in Boston, MA and also studied child psychology. Winkler went on to earn his MFA from the prestigious Yale School of Drama. In 1978, his undergraduate alma mater presented him with his Doctorate of Humane Letters.
Winkler is best-known to audiences for his portrayal of The Fonz on the long-running, hit series, "Happy Days." He and the series were honored by the city of Milwaukee, WI in 2008, with a bronze, life-sized statue of Winkler's iconic character, which stands on the River Walk. In addition to this role, for which he earned two Golden Globe Awards and three Emmy Award nominations, he has countless television credits to his name. The extensive list includes such series as "NUMB3RS," "Arrested Development," "King of the Hill," "The Practice," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Monty," "The Bob Newhart Show" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," among many others. The versatile actor has also appeared in television movies such as "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" for Hallmark Channel, "The Only Way Out" for ABC, "Truman Capote's One Christmas" for NBC, and "A Child is Missing" for CBS, to name a few.
Audiences have also enjoyed Winkler's work on the big screen, with roles in such films as "The Lords of Flatbush;" "Nightshift," for which he received a Gold Globe Award nomination; Wes Craven's "Scream;" "Holes," with Sigourney Weaver and Jon Voight; and several movies with his good friend, Adam Sandler, including "The Waterboy," "Click" and "You Don't Mess With the Zohan."
As a producer, Winkler has kept busy with both television and feature film projects throughout his career. For the small screen he has produced a wide variety of programs such as "Happy Days 30th Anniversary Reunion" for ABC, "Dallas Reunion: The Return to Southfork" for CBS, "So Weird" for The Disney Channel, "MacGyver" for ABC and "Happily Ever After" for PBS. Winkler's producing efforts in feature films include "Young Sherlock Holmes" and "The Sure Thing." He has also taken his turn behind the lens in the director's chair for the features "Cop and a Half," starring Burt Reynolds and "Memories of Me," with Billy Crystal, Alan King and JoBeth Williams.
Winkler has also spent time treading the boards, having appeared as Captain Hook in the London production of the musical, "Peter Pan," for three consecutive runs. Stateside, his credits include Neil Simon's "The Dinner Party" at both The Kennedy Center and on Broadway, Arthur Miller's "Incident at Vichy" at the Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati, and "42 Seconds From Broadway," in New York.
In 2003, Winkler turned his talents to the written page and began writing children's novels with his partner, Lin Oliver. Published by Penguin Putnam, Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Under-Achiever is a series of 17 books inspired by the actor's own struggle throughout his education due to his learning challenges. To date, over three million copies have been sold and are now published in Great Britain, and they are no stranger to The New York Times Bestseller List and The Los Angeles Times Book Review. Also a great humanitarian, Winkler has spent many hours supporting and serving causes close to his heart, including the annual Cerebral Palsy Telethon (co-host); Epilepsy Foundation of America (first National Honorary Chairman); Toys for Tots (National Chairman); National Committee for Arts for the Handicapped, Special Olympics, Los Angeles Music Center's Very Special Arts Festival, United Friends of the Children (Honorary Chairman), Children's Action Network (founding member) and numerous teenage alcohol and drug abuse programs. His efforts have been honored by B'nai B'rith (Champion of Youth), United Nations (Peace Prize), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Support Group Services (Helping Hand Award) and, with his wife Stacey, received the Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award from Women in Film. Additionally, he was honored by the French government with the Chevallier de l'Order des Artes et Lettres.
Winkler currently makes his home in Los Angeles with his wife, Stacey, and their dogs Charlotte and Linus. They have three wonderful children: Jed, Zo and Max.