March 26, 2017

Henry Winkler’s ‘Royal Pains’ Character Mysterious Even to Him

By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith Henry Winkler says even he doesn’t know whether his new series character — Eddie, the mysterious wayward father on the USA Network’s “Royal Pains” — is a good-hearted finagler or someone more sinister.

Eddie was talked about last season by his estranged sons (Mark Feuerstein and Paulo Costanzo) on the popular series about a concierge doctor to the very rich. Viewers know that, thanks to his gullible younger son, Eddie has taken money from their HankMed company and claims he’ll give it back. On Thursday’s (6/10) episode, he’ll get even deeper into his sons’ world.

“I was invited into the writers’ room to chat about the character. Nobody knew who Eddie was; they had an impression of him,” Winkler tells us. “We talked about him a little bit. Now he grows as we watch the dailies. I’ve found that is true of certain characters. That happened with The Fonz, and with Barry Zuckerhorn,” he says, referring, of course, to his iconic “Happy Days” character and to his ineffectual, disinterested lawyer in “Arrested Development.”

Winkler doesn’t know how many episodes of “Royal Pains” he’ll wind up doing. He does know he’s grown very fond of his onscreen offspring – Feuerstein, who “has more energy than 25 human beings and just astonishing creativity,” and Costanzo, who “is sensitive, funny, a genius at improvisation. You never know where your scene is going to go with him.”

The beloved star has been headquartering in New York with wife Stacey while doing “Royal Pains” – but he’s also been traveling much of the time, as media spokesperson for a therapeutic use of Botox for upper limb spasticity, and on book tour appearances on behalf of his and Lin Oliver’s 17th and final Hank Zipzer kids’ tome. In it, our learning-challenged hero at long last finds his key to success as he gets into performing arts school with none other than prolific producer-director Garry Marshall as his mentor.

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About Beck / Smith

Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith are among America’s leading columnists. They’ve covered the Hollywood beat for decades — Elvis and “Easy Rider” through the Jonas Bros. and “Avatar” and all the stars and their triumphs and scandals in-between. Their Creators Syndicate column, Beck/Smith Hollywood Exclusive, is a source of top celebrity interviews and entertainment news in newspapers across the country as well as online. To read more about Marylin and Stacy go to

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