Henry Winkler Explains How Tom Hanks Feud Started

Henry Winkler is revealing the origin of his rumored decades-long feud with Tom Hanks. After years of chatter that the two beloved actors don't get along, the Happy Days actor, 78, revealed how the drama all started during the May 7 episode of the How To Fail podcast.

Without naming Hanks directly, Winkler recalled being fired from directing the 1989 cop comedy Turner & Hooch, which starred the Cast Away star, now 67, as Detective Scott Turner opposite his mastiff co-star Beasley the Dog as Hooch. Winkler admitted that while he got along just fine with the dog during his short stint on the movie, he didn't mesh as well with the human lead. 

"I did 11 weeks of preparation," he told host Elizabeth Day. "I knew this dog, this slobbery mastiff and I became friends. The star did not become my friend." Asked if he meant Hanks, Winkler said, "I probably do." The Emmy Award-winning actor even shared the moment at which he thinks their relationship took a left turn, recalling a moment in which a fan recognized him for his iconic role as Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli over Hanks. 

"We were in Carmel, this little seaside wonderful town on the coast of California, looking for a location and a woman comes, honest to God, comes running out of a shop and says 'Henry, Fonz! Oh, my god!' and I say, 'And of course you know Tom Hanks,'" the Barry star said. "The director of photography, when I was fired 13 days into filming said, 'I knew that this was going to happen on that day in Carmel."

While no one has ever confirmed that Hanks had a role in Winkler's firing, the animosity between the two actors was confirmed in 2020 by Winkler's Happy Days co-star Ron Howard. "I'm friends with them both and both men felt compelled to come to talk to me about it. It was just one of those unfortunate things where they really had a working style that did not fit," he told The Guardian at the time, noting that the two had since mended fences. "It's been a lot of years, two men with a lot of water under the bridge."

Winkler has likewise confirmed that he has no hard feelings towards Hanks, telling TMZ that "what everybody says and what is true are two different things." Hanks himself has never addressed the rumored feud or commented on the alleged Turner & Hooch incident.