TODAY   |  October 20, 2010

‘Fonz’ recalls ‘happy days’ with Bosley

Actor Henry Winkler shares fond memories of his “Happy Days” co-star, saying Tom Bosley was the “anchor” on the set of the famed TV show.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

MATT LAUER, co-host: As we mentioned a little earlier, Hollywood is mourning the loss of Tom Bosley . The 83-year-old portrayed one of the most memorable fathers in television history as Howard Cunningham on the show " Happy Days ." Henry Winkler was Bosley 's co-star and his friend. Henry , good to see you. Good morning.

ANN CURRY, co-host: Hey.

LAUER: Sorry under these circumstances.

Mr. HENRY WINKLER: Absolutely.

LAUER: You know, we knew him, we all grew up.

AL ROKER reporting: Sure.

LAUER: We watched him on TV , you worked with him and you were a friend of his.

Mr. WINKLER: Sure.

LAUER: Tell me what was he like when the cameras weren't rolling.

Mr. WINKLER: Well, you have to remember, we were -- he was our television father for 10 years.

ROKER: Mm-hmm.

Mr. WINKLER: And he was our father figure for the last 33. You know, it was so interesting because with the boys all bought -- we all bought our house at the same time. We were making enough money from " Happy Days " and we went right to Tom , who helped us with what it was to put a down payment and a mortgage and a -- you know, so he literally was so much a part of our life in every way.

CURRY: Mm-hmm. And so in this situation, then, when you think back on your most important memory, I mean, the man had such comedic timing, he had such talent.

Mr. WINKLER: It was -- it was unbelievable. In 1960 , I saw him on Broadway in "Fiorello!" and then a few years later in " Catch Me If You Can ." And then in 1973 , I was standing next to him on Stage 19 on Paramount Lot .

LAUER: How cool was that?

Mr. WINKLER: It was amazing.

CURRY: Hm.

Mr. WINKLER: Amazing.

ROKER: It...

Mr. WINKLER: And he was flawless. His timing and his understanding of our professional job was flawless.

ROKER: What do you think his legacy's going to be, Henry ?

Mr. WINKLER: You know what, I was listening to Tom say what he wanted to be remembered, he was a great husband, he was a great dad, and he was a terrific grandfather. His grandson this past weekend, I believe, was bar mitzvahed. And as the world turns , as he was getting weaker, the entire family from all over the country came to LA. So he was able to see everybody.

LAUER: Oh, that's nice.

CURRY: Hm.

Mr. WINKLER: You know, and what a thing. It's a great family.

LAUER: We were lucky enough to have him on the show on a number of occasions.

LAUER: Mm-hmm.

LAUER: We all got to meet him. But the one thing that impressed me, he didn't have a big ego.

Mr. WINKLER: No.

LAUER: He seemed to really like being part of an ensemble.

Mr. WINKLER: Right. Because he was the anchor. You know, he was so good that he made it so simple, you never saw him working at just being.

LAUER: Our -- we're sorry for your loss.

Mr. WINKLER: Thank you.

LAUER: And sorry for all of us, as well...

Mr. WINKLER: That's -- yeah.

LAUER: ...because we enjoyed watching him for so many years.

CURRY: But how great that you speak up for him this morning. How great.

Mr. WINKLER: Well, you know what it, is a great tribute to the family that he was the patriarch and such a wonderful man.