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The Fonz Makes His UK Stage Debut

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Henry Winkler, fondly known as "The Fonz" for his roll as Arthur Fonzarelli on the television series Happy Days, is making his stage debut in London as Captain Hook.

The New York Times reports Winkler, 64, plays Hook in a pantomime version of Peter Pan.

“They called me and said, ‘Listen, it’s a pantomime; you don’t know what it is, and there’s no way to explain it,’ ” Winkler told The Times. A pantomime is the art of conveying emotions, actions and feelings through gestures without speaking. It's a popular art form on the British stage.

" 'You’ll play Captain Hook,' " Winkler continued. " 'I thought to myself, ‘Well, I don’t know if the English actors would accept an American. I don’t know whether they’d allow me to take part in this tradition they’ve had since 1607.’ So the easy way would have been to say no, and then I could sit at home. And then I thought, ‘You know, you have got to take a shot at it.’ ”

First Family Entertainment's Peter Pan plays at London's New Wimbledon Theatre from December 17 through January 14.