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“This is what I would say to my younger self: As long as you have wonderful thoughts, that’s all you need. It will be okay.”

Henry Winkler has dyslexia.

Winkler grew up in New York City with what he calls “a high level of low self-esteem.” Throughout elementary school and high school, he struggled with academics. This was due to what he would later identify as dyslexia. His parents expected him to eventually work with them at the lumber company, but he saw roles on stage as the key to his happiness. His acting debut came in the eighth grade; following college, his top priority was to become an actor. However, if this was unsuccessful, he wanted to become a child psychologist because of his deep interest in working with children. Like many other actors, he began his career in commercials. His first major film role was in The Lords of Flatbush (1974). After that, he was cast on a new series set in the 1950s:  Happy Days.

Learn more about dyslexia

Download our Parents Guide to Dyslexia