This has to be the sweetest Fonzie fan story ever

Did you ever meet the Fonz? A 5-year-old became "the envy of every American teen" with this encounter from 1975.

In one of the quirkiest episodes of Happy Days, "Chachi Sells His Soul," Chachi sells his soul to the devil's "nephew” to become a more "warm and wonderful" person.

Recognizing his cousin is cursed, Fonzie rushes to make his own deal. He agrees to go 24 hours without kissing any chicks, and if he can go just one day without being a ladykiller, then Chachi gets his soul back.

It's no secret that when Happy Days premiered, Fonzie became an overnight heartthrob, with girls all over America wishing they could be the girl on Henry Winkler's arm. Before the show even premiered, Winkler already felt as popular as the Beatles, being greeted by screaming fans.

But of all the fan encounters with the Fonz, there's one kiss in the mix that we think is perhaps the sweetest story in Winkler's career.

Five-year-old Julia Tomanelli lost the vision in her left eye during surgery to remove a tumor when she was only three years old. Over years spent receiving treatments and recovering at New York Hospital, while the vision started fading from her one good eye, she loved watching Happy Days.

So when her parents asked her what she wanted for Christmas in 1975, the little girl had the Fonz on her mind.

"I want to have Fonzie's picture and his autograph," she requested, pointing at the TV when she said it, as if Fonzie lived inside there.

Her parents thought this was doable, but then Julia added, "And I'd like him to talk to me in real life."

Julia was about to undergo what The Daily News called "the most critical two weeks of her life." That Christmas, she would find out if her most recent surgery was a success.

Julia needed a win. But even she didn't expect the Fonz to come through.

And then her phone rang.

"A-y-y-y, this is The Fonz," the voice on the line said.

"Fonzie?" Julia answered. "I think you might be joking, but my name is Julia."

"No joke, Sweetie Pie," Winkler responded. "I thought it would be nice for Christmas if we spoke to each other for a little while."

On the phone, they talked about the autographed black-and-white photo he sent, and Winkler promised to send her one in color, too. She told him how much she loved the show and nearby, her family beamed at her bedside, listening in.

The family reported Julia's face was lit up the entire time.

Before getting off the phone, Fonzie made a special request of his own.

"Would you do something for me, Sweetie Pie?" he asked.

"What?" Julia wondered.

"Would you give me a kiss?" The Fonz requested.

The five-year-old smacked her lips against the receiver, and to her delight, the Fonz smacked his lips back, mwah!

"God bless you, Sweetie Pie," Fonzie said.

"You, too," Julie answered.

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34 months ago
He was the antithesis of his Happy Days character. A privileged, ivy league, namby-pamby elitist.
gracie200 34 months ago
i wonder if Julia's surgery was successful. what a sweet story.....i have always heard and read that henry winkler was one of the nicest, most down-to-earth people in show business. it's nice when they don't let their fame go to their heads......good for you Fonzie/Henry.
SheriHeffner 35 months ago
I was SO in love with Henry as a teenager. I would have loved to have met him. This was one of the sweetest stories I have read in a long time.
PatrickThomas 35 months ago
I had met Henry Winkler briefly while I was in The Special Olympics during the late 70's.At the UCLA field Henry quickly greeted us then left.It may have been such a short time-But I'll never forget it.That was so nice of Henry to stop over for a bit.
MichaelFields 35 months ago
Did I miss something? What happened to her, did she make it okay?
Deb 35 months ago
I worked at an event with Henry Winkler and I have to say the man is one of the nicest celebs I've ever met. He traveled without an entourage and was attentive not only to the fans but to the people working the event.
Oscar 35 months ago
What a great story. Brought a tear to my eye. Just imagine what that phone call meant to that little girl after all she had been through in her young life. To her 'The Fonz' was a real person.
Dave 35 months ago
My wife and I met Henry at the Rhode Island Comic Con a few years ago. We went to his table, and he came around the corner to say hi and shake our hands. He asked our names and smiled and was as warm to us as a relative. What a sweet, sweet guy who really appreciates his fans.
LoveMETV22 Dave 35 months ago
Thank You for your share. Very nice picture.
DavidHanes 35 months ago
I have met Henry Winkler and he is the nicest most caring person you would ever wish to meet. He is talkative with his fans. Makes sure everything is perfect for pictures. Probably the nicest person i have ever met.
CaptainDunsel 35 months ago
That was a nice gesture by Henry Winkler. Of course, The Fonz had his own on-screen hero meeting when The Lone Ranger showed up. I suspect Mr. Winkler had a good understanding of the fan/idol relationship.
Katzi 35 months ago
Awww! That was sweet!! This took place in 1975! So Julia is 40 now. I wonder if she ever got a chance to meet Fonzie in person.
kkvegas Katzi 35 months ago
She's actually 51 now.
Katzi kkvegas 35 months ago
OOPS! Sorry! You're right!! Thanks for pointing that out :-)
OlgaBagley 35 months ago
The Fonz all the way I love that Story that girl will remember that for the rest of her Sweet life
Dario 35 months ago
How sweet! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ 😊😊😊😊😊
Moriyah 35 months ago
Man, that'd be nice to meet Fonzie in real life! But I would love to meet Gomer Pyle in real life even more! What do y'all think of that?! (Let me know)
LoveMETV22 Moriyah 35 months ago
Well there's a possibility of meeting the Fonzie in real life. Possibility (yes), Probability (%?). Comment on the latter (reserved) in fun LoL.
Oscar Moriyah 35 months ago
To each his own.
LoveMETV22 Moriyah 35 months ago
Scroll up and look at the picture posted by Dave. Him and his wife with "The Fonz himself"Who knows maybe you will meet him someday.
Moriyah LoveMETV22 35 months ago
I love Fonzie, but I'm not obsessed with him like I am with Gomer
Zip Moriyah 33 months ago
I also would have loved to meet Jim Nabors. Unfortunately that can't happen now unless we meet in the great beyond. Gomer Pyle USMC is one of my favorite shows, and I've always thought that having Gomer as a friend would be the best ever, because he would be a caring and loyal friend. And from what I know about him I think Jim was the same way.
Moriyah Zip 33 months ago
Oh yeah, I would really want him to be my best friend, too!
LoveMETV22 35 months ago
Nice story MeTV. He is a genuinely kind hearted individual.
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