Why Barry's Henry Winkler Wrote a Letter to the Creator of Yellowstone

Barry star Henry Winkler loves Yellowstone so much that he wrote a fan letter to creator Taylor Sheridan. The legendary actor spilled the details in an exclusive chat with E! News.

By Daniel Trainor Apr 24, 2022 3:00 PMTags
Watch: Henry Winkler Details Bill Hader's Creative Evolution on Barry

One of TV's greatest legends is a fan just like the rest of us.

Henry Winkler, who stars in season three of HBO's Barry premiering April 24, turned lemons into television lemonade during the past two years.

"During the pandemic, we watched television from Mexico, Spain, India, South Korea," Winkler told E! News. "The streamers are incredible. HBO, Apple, HBO Max. I'm telling you, TV is king right now."

Winkler, of course, knows a little something about television history. The actor starred as Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli on iconic sitcom Happy Days, which ran for 11 seasons starting in 1974. The actor has also played memorable roles on Arrested Development, Parks & Recreation and, now, his Emmy-winning turn on Barry.

In all of his viewing, however, a certain TV western franchise really lassoed his heart.

"Yellowstone is great. 1883 is great," he told E! News. "I wrote a fan letter to Taylor Sheridan."

Kevin Costner stars in Yellowstone, the Paramount Network western about a wealthy ranch family in Montana, which has become one of the biggest shows on television and earned enough praise to fill the O.K. Corral.

But a letter from Henry Winkler? It's tough to get better than that.

Henry Winkler Starstruck at the 2020 SAG Awards

"I said it's amazing to spend time with your storytelling because we are loving every episode of these things," Winkler told E!. 

Before you get any ideas, Winkler says he has no interest in guest starring, saying "I'm very happy where I am." Sometimes it's best not to meet your heroes.

Lucky for Winkler, he's in a pretty great spot. The 76-year-old actor stars as Gene Cousineau on Barry, which gets even darker and more sinister in its third season. Despite working with some of the most accomplished directors in the business over the course of his illustrious career, he says working with Bill Hader—who co-created, stars in and often directs the show—is one of the most collaborative experiences he's ever had.

"Bill is a generous, thoughtful director. In his structure comes freedom," Winkler told E!. "He knows what he wants. He's open to you filling that vessel with what you bring. If it works for him and it works for his imagination, it's in."

Merrick Morton/HBO

Watch Henry Winkler write the latest chapter in his storied television textbook when the third season of Barry premieres April 24 at 10 p.m. on HBO.

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