Henry Winkler, or the “Fonz” as he was known in Happy Days, has been made an honorary OBE for his work on dyslexia in the UK.

The actor and director, who found fame in the classic US sitcom, said it was "humbling" to receive the honour, awarded at the British embassy in Washington DC.

Winkler’s own battle with dyslexia as an adult prompted him to tour schools around the UK over the past two years to talk to students and teachers about the learning difficulty.

Winkler has also written books for children about Hank Zipzer, a boy with dyslexia, whose experiences are based on the actor's own childhood struggles.

In a statement on the embassy's website, Winkler said: "Receiving this honour is a very humbling experience.

"My goal when I started working with children was never to bring accolades on myself, but instead to change how people think about those around them for whom learning is a struggle. I am flattered to have had my work recognised in this manner, and hope to continue showing kids that their learning difficulty isn't a disability."

British ambassador Nigel Sheinwald presented the OBE during a ceremony at the embassy.

Sheinwald said: "Through (Winkler), thousands of young people have seen a role model and an inspiration for overcoming their learning challenges."

The honour was presented in recognition of the star's services to children with dyslexia and special educational needs.

Non-British nationals can receive honorary awards for their contribution to British interests under the UK honours system. Honorary awards are conferred by the Queen on the advice of the UK Foreign Office.

Winkler's portrayal of Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli in Happy Days won him two Golden Globes and three Primetime Emmy nominations.