Tom Hanks and Henry Winkler's Decades-Long Feud Explained

Henry Winkler was fired from 'Turner & Hooch,' kicking off a 30-year feud.


Jun. 4 2024, Published 11:21 a.m. ET

Tom Hanks and Henry Winkler in an episode of 'Happy Days.'
Source: ABC

Tom Hanks and Henry Winkler in a 1982 episode of 'Happy Days'

If you were asked to name two of Hollywood's most universally beloved stars, you might start with Henry Winkler and Tom Hanks. Henry is always posting pictures of the fish he catches on social media, whereas Tom spends his time posting loose gloves he sees on the street.

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These two men, who are both known for their reputations as nice guys, have also been in a rumored feud that stretches back decades. Now, some want to know more about this supposed feud, what kicked it off, and whether it's as real as it might appear to be.

Tom Hanks with a dog in Turner & Hooch.
Source: Buena Vista Pictures

Tom Hanks in 'Turner & Hooch' (1989)

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What's behind the feud between Tom Hanks and Henry Winkler?

During the May 7, 2024 episode of the How to Fail podcast, Henry explained that the feud originated when he was fired from directing Turner & Hooch, the 1989 comedy about a detective trying to solve the murder of his former partner as he cares for his dog. Tom was the star of the movie, and Henry made it clear that the two of them did not get along very well.

“I did 11 weeks of preparation,” he said. “I knew this dog. This slobbery mastiff and I became friends. The star did not become my friend.” When he was asked if he meant Tom, Henry said, "I probably do.”

Henry added that he believes an interaction with a fan may have ultimately been the thing that made their relationship with one another so bitter.

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“We were in Carmel, this little seaside wonderful town on the coast of California, looking for a location, and a woman comes, honest to God, comes running out of a shop and says ‘Henry, Fonz! Oh, my god!’ and I say, ‘And, of course, you know Tom Hanks,’” he explained. “The director of photography, when I was fired 13 days into filming, said, ‘I knew that this was going to happen, on that day in Carmel.’”

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Henry first sparked rumors that the two of them were feuding back in 1993 when he told People, “Let’s just say I got along better with Hooch than I did with Turner."

The rumors were ignited yet again after Henry's Happy Days co-star Ron Howard said it “was disappointing” that the two of them didn't get along.

“I’m friends with them both, and both men felt compelled to come to talk to me about it,” Ron told The Guardian in 2020. “It was just one of those unfortunate things where they really had a working style that did not fit.”

“I know it was painful for both of them, and I was able to lend an ear, if not offer any solutions," Ron added.

Henry has also clarified, though, that he doesn't describe his relationship with Tom as a "feud." He said that the two of them saw each other in 2022, and that the relationship between them is "cordial."

“I ran into Tom and Rita [Wilson] at an award show just before the pandemic, and it was very warm,” he explained.

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