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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 September 2006, 23:15 GMT 00:15 UK
The Fonz hooks himself panto role
Henry Winkler
Henry Winkler will be playing Captain Hook in Peter Pan
Happy Days actor Henry Winkler is to make his UK stage debut in panto - filling a void left by David Hasselhoff who pulled out of the show.

Winkler, who played the iconic Fonz in the US sitcom, will be playing Captain Hook at London's New Wimbledon Theatre.

"I'm thrilled to be doing this and I'm honoured to be one of the first Americans invited to appear in panto," said Winkler.

"We don't have panto in America and it sounds unbelievably fun," he said.

Hasselhoff originally signed up for the role but pulled out when he was offered a TV role by Simon Cowell.

Keeping the quiff

Winkler, 60, played Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli in Happy Days for 10 years from 1974.

"I won't be bringing too much of The Fonz into Captain Hook because it might get confusing for the audience - but I may keep the quiff under my wig just for old times' sake," Winkler said.

"I love the Peter Pan story and I love Captain Hook. He's a villain but, hey, he had his hand bitten off by a crocodile - you have to feel some sympathy for the guy."

In recent years Winkler has appeared in a number of TV shows, including Arrested Development and Out of Practice, as well as voicing cartoons.

Panto producer Kevin Wood said: "Henry was an obvious choice for us. He is a brilliant actor and is known for his larger than life performances as The Fonz across the globe.

"Parents will know and remember him fondly and a new generation of children will get to know his unique sense of humour."

Hasselhoff bows out of pantomime
19 Jun 06 |  Entertainment

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