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Fonz Statue - On Tuesday, August 19, 2008, the folks from the nostalgia cable channel TV Land unveiled a sculpture of the ultra-cool garage mechanic Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli from the situation comedy HAPPY DAY/ABC/1974-84.

Statue of The Fonz by Gerald Sawyer

Photo of the Arthur 'The Fonz' Fonzarelli - HAPPY DAYS

The Fonz Statue The real Fonz

The statue stands downtown at the Milwaukee RiverWalk with its two hands raised in Fonz's classic thumbs up sign "Aaaayhh!" Ironically, although The Fonz lived in Milwaukee, none of the series, which ran from 1974 to 1984, was filmed in Wisconsin, but rather in Hollywood.

It was the show's executive producer, Thomas L. Miller, who suggested  that HAPPY DAYS be based in Milwaukee, his hometown. The series creator Gary Marshal had wanted to set the show in the Bronx, where he grew up.

Among those in attendance for the unveiling were Henry Winkler, who played the Fonz, his wife, and their two sons, and daughter. The show's creator, director and producer Garry Marshall, Tom Bosley, Marion Ross, and actors Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams from the spin-off LAVERNE & SHIRLEY were also at the ceremony. At one point, Henry Winkler pretended to comb the statue's hair - which was "perfect."

The statue, sculpted by Gerald Sawyer, was commissioned through funds ($85,000) provided by VISIT Milwaukee, Spirit Milwaukee, and the cable network TV Land. The initials of Winkler and his wife were etched into the veins on the statue's hands. 

Honored at being the recipient of a statue, Winkler said, "What does it mean to have a statue? That statue belongs to Gary Marshall, to the writers, to Tom Miller, Eddie Milkus, they were the, Gary Marshall, Tom Miller and Eddie Milkus, they were the nucleus, the producing team that hired me, that came up with the show, that ran the show. Without them, I would not exist."

Another TV icon that celebrates the cultural heritage of Milwaukee is the Fonz's leather jacket on display at the Smithsonian Institute Washington D.C..


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