Henry Winkler, 72, was first nominated for an Emmy back in 1976 for his portrayal of Arthur Fonzarelli on the hit TV sitcom, Happy Days.

Sadly, Winkler did not win that 1976 Emmy, nor did he win any of the numerous additional nominations that he received over the years for his roles on shows like Happy Days and The Practice. And although Winkler has become a household name thanks to his successful and diverse acting career, he has also been patiently waiting to take home that coveted statuette ever since his first Primetime Emmy nomination many years ago.

But Sunday night at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, Winkler’s waiting game finally came to an exhilarating end when he won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Gene Cousineau on HBO’s dark comedy, Barry.

Winkler for the Win

As soon as Winkler’s name was announced, the theater exploded in excitement as the crowd rose to their feet cheering while Winkler practically skipped up to the stage to accept his long-awaited award.

Winkler was overflowing with excitement as he began his speech, saying, “I only have 37 seconds; I wrote this 43 years ago. Skip Brittenham said to me a long time ago, ‘If you stay at the table long enough, the chips come to you’, and tonight I got to clear the table.”

He continued on, thanking the show creators, Alec Berg and Bill Hader, and closed his short but sweet speech with a nod to his wife and kids and by victoriously thrusting the statuette into the air.

“I can’t stop yet. My wife Stacey, oh, my god. My cast and crew, and the kids! Kids! Jed, Zoe and Max, you can go to bed now! Daddy won!”

 

While Winkler ended the victorious night by basking in the glory of his Emmy win, he began the evening with a trip down memory lane as he reunited with Happy Days co-star, Ron Howard.

Winkler posted the sweet reunion on Twitter with the caption “Pals at the Emmys”.

 

Howard later took to Twitter as well to celebrate Winkler’s win, showing love and support for his longtime friend with several congratulatory Tweets.

 

Backstage, after accepting his Emmy, Winkler continued to marvel at the thrill of winning the sought-after award after so many years, saying, “I was 27 when I started doing The Fonz. I’m now 72 and I’m standing right here in front of you with her (referring to his Emmy statuette). Wow.”

Congratulations on your Emmy, Henry, and thanks for reminding all of us that hard work and patience really do pay off!

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