Tom Hanks and Henry Winkler first worked together almost four decades ago when Hanks, in one of his first acting jobs, guest-starred on Winkler’s iconic sitcom, Happy Days. Seven years after that, Winkler was hired to direct Turner & Hooch, with Hanks in the starring role. That would be the last time the two would work together – and it was only for 13 days before Winkler was removed from the director’s chair and replaced.
Rumors floated around Hollywood for years that the two weren’t on the best terms, and earlier this year, Winkler went on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen and pretty much confirmed what many thought. Despite both stars being generally thought of as among the nicest guys in the business, Winkler, at least, doesn’t seem to like Hanks.
Back in 1989, Winkler was hired to direct Turner & Hooch, and, apparently, that’s when the two had a falling out. Andy Cohen asked Winkler about it, and the Arrested Development star gently dodged the question before letting loose. “I was directing that movie for 13 days and then I was called into [producer] Jeff Katzenberg’s office, and he said, ‘You have everything with you? Go home,'” Winkler said. “I got along great, great with that dog,” he savagely added — a comment that echoed his statement to People in 1993. “Let’s just say I got along better with Hooch than I did with Turner,” the actor told the magazine.
In 2013, TMZ touched on the, er, touchy subject, discussing Winkler’s appearance on the Howard Stern Show. Winkler didn’t outright diss the Big star, but he didn’t exactly deny his distaste for Hanks either. Hanks, for his part, has steered clear of commenting on Winkler, but he did have a run-in with another celebrity when he took a swipe at Ricky Gervais in 2011.
The English funnyman hosted the 68th Golden Globes, which was a somewhat controversial decision at the time. After Gervais served up the usual jabs towards the A-listers, an act that’s fairly common for awards show hosts, Hanks was joined on stage by his Toy Story co-star Tim Allen. What he said surprised a lot of the folks who think of Hanks as the nicest guy in Hollywood. “We recall when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby and kindly comedian,” Hanks quipped. “Neither of which he is now.”
So now, with the nicest guy in Hollywood current starring as the nicest man in the history of the world, Fred Rogers, in A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, it’s a little shocking to hear that not everyone loves him as much as the rest of us.
Update: In January, a TMZ reporter caught up with Henry Winkler in Los Angeles and asked about the feud. Winkler graciously speaks at length about it with the reporter as he is taking photographs with fans. In the video, Winkler says that there “is no beef” with Hanks and that it’s all overblown. When asked about his comments on Watch What Happens Live, Winkler says it was all in good fun. We’re happy to see that the two nicest guys in Hollywood are indeed friends, but Winkler’s past comments also speak for themselves.
Gossip Cop believes this story to be true, but we don’t have enough information to confirm.