By PATRICK GAVIN | 12/7/10 3:42 PM EST
You may see a familiar face around town Thursday in the form of Henry Winkler, aka The Fonz from “Happy Days,” who’s being honored at AARP The Magazine’s 2011 Inspire Awards Gala, where he’ll be honored alongside such notables as Maya Angelou, Joy Behar, Tony Danza and Elizabeth Warren.
Winkler’s cause is stroke victims (his mother suffered from one), but unlike most celebrity visitors, he won’t be seeking any help from Capitol Hill. In fact, he doesn’t think he needs any.
“At the moment, you don’t need the government,” Winkler told POLITICO. “They’ve got their problems that they need to deal with. What we need is awareness — just person to person. Like playing Telephone, you just pass it on. … I am trying to pass it on, and it is really worthwhile to me.”
It won’t be Winkler’s first time in D.C., of course.
“I have spent time at the Lab School, and I have really wonderful family friends in Washington.” Among them? Reporter Jamie Gangel and her husband, writer Daniel Silva. “I also spent a summer at the Kennedy Center once doing a Neil Simon play with my wonderful friend, the late John Ritter.”
Winkler currently stars on USA Network’s “Royal Pains,” which returns on Jan. 20.