Henry Winkler is proving once again why he’s considered the nicest guy in Hollywood. The former Happy Days star-turned Barry Emmy winner reportedly called a former neighbor named Florence Keller on whom he reportedly had a crush as a child, for her 101st birthday.
Page Six reports that Keller’s granddaughter, Natalie Lebovits-Zaidenberg, reached out on a Facebook page frequented by showbiz publicists to see if anyone could get her in touch with Winkler’s reps so that he could contact her grandma for her big day.
Lebovits-Zaidenberg told the paper, “My grandmother has Alzheimer’s, but whenever she watches TV and he comes on, she goes, ‘It’s Henry,’ and gets very excited…Sometimes she doesn’t remember us, so it’s really special.”
Natalie explained that the now-75-year-old actor and her grandmother lived in the same New York City building decades ago. “He was about 10-ish and he had a big crush on her…That’s the story I heard growing up,” she said.
Her efforts on Facebook paid off: Winkler was notified by a family member, and set up a time to call Keller and her family.
“He called and…was lovely,” Lebovits-Zaidenberg told Page Six. “He just said he wished her a happy birthday, and said he appreciates that we have followed his career this whole time. They spoke for about five minutes. We were all excited.”
She added of the actor, “He’s ‘the Fonz.’ It was just so cool. It was a story I grew up with my whole life that was a great NYC story. But to see it be real was very special.”
Incidentally, one of the Facebook group’s members noted of Winkler, “He’s easily the nicest celebrity I ever worked with.”
That, for the record, is something ABC Audio can confirm.
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