Fans of Webster are well familiar with Emmanuel Lewis who played the titular character in the hit 1980s sitcom. Lewis was a child star by many standards, not only was he known for his role in Webster, Lewis also landed many lucrative commercial gigs including one as the child spokesperson for Burger King Whopper.
Lewis’ activity and popularity in Hollywood have drastically waned in recent years, so much so that many have wondered if he is dead or alive…
Emmanuel Lewis Bio
Emmanuel Lewis was born on March 9, 1971, in Brooklyn, New York. He shares the same birthday with Shad Moss, (Bow Wow), rapper Chingy and English actress Stephanie Chambers. His birthday is the anniversary of The The Notorious B.I.G.’s death.
Enough of the birthday trivia… Lewis was born as the youngest of four children. His older siblings include; sister, Lizziebeth (b. 1964) and brothers Roscoe (b. 1968), and Chris (b. 1970).
Lewis’ parents divorced when he was just 2 years old. Describing his childhood, he said, ” We weren’t rich and we weren’t poor. We were just happy if we got 50 cents for the week just to go get some snacks every once in a while.”
His mother Margaret Lewis is a former computer-science professional. Like most kids who grew up in his neighboorhood, Lewis attended several private schools.
Lewis never thought of acting as a career or even that he had what it took to become one until an actor friend of his pointed it out to him. Upon the suggestion of the friend, Lewis and his mother contacted Shuller Talent Agency which specializes in gifted children for TV commercials.
The agency immediately fell in love with Lewis’ face and persona as they thought it fit for commercials. Lewis then began his acting career in commercials for the likes of Campbell’s Soup, Burger King, Life Cereal, Colgate, and many others.
Emmanuel had is first on-commercial acting job in theater — the Joseph Papp New York Shakespeare Festival Production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He then began appearing in nightly talk shows like The Tonight Show.
In 1983, Lewis was selected to star in ABC sitcom Webster which would ultimately become the biggest break of his career. Despite being a twelve year old, Lewis’ stature made him fit into the role of a 6 year old adopted kid raised by white parents. The series ended in 1987 after 6 seasons and 150 episodes. The Stu Silver-created show entered syndication from 1987 to 1989.
After Webstar, Lewis completed his high school education at Midwood High School in 1989. He immediately enrolled at Clark Atlanta University graduating with a degree in theater arts in 1997. Lewis’ college years overstretched because he occasionally took time off to accept acting gigs.
After college graduation, Lewis found it difficult to land regular roles, due to his short height which made him still look like the kid from Webster. However, he had parts in many TV shows including Family Matters (1997), Moesha (1998), Malcolm & Eddie (1999), and The Surreal Life (2003). A practitioner of taekwondo, Lewis appeared as himself on a TV child stars episode of The Weakest Link (2001).
As years passed, Lewis’ activity only decreased as he managed to land only cameo roles.
While Americans know him for his acting talent, Lewis made fans in Japan as a singer. His debut single “City Connection” reached No. 2 in 1981 on the Oricon charts. His latest acting gig was in a 2013 episode of Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis.
Emmanuel Lewis Net Worth, Dead or Alive
Lewis’ best years, financially is no doubt his Webster days. After the first season of Webster, his agent renegotiated a deal that gave him a share of the profits, including syndication money.
Despite his Webster fame, Lewis maintained a fairly average lifestyle. His mom drove him to work and home. And thanks to his tight-knit family, Webster was able to remain sane avoid the post-stardom troubles that often plagued the lives of child stars.
With his Webster money, Lewis was able to set up other businesses, from his own record label, Emmanuel Lewis Entertainment founded in June 2000 to a limousine company and a car wash service.
His absence in Hollywood made phrases like “Is Emmanuel Lewis Dead or Alive?” a popular search phrase on Google. To put it plainly, Lewis is very much ALIVE and is more active running his businesses than behind the scenes than acting.
Sources have estimated his net worth to fall between $5000,000 and $600,0000.
With a short height that appears to be caused by a medical condition, though it is not (endocrinologists say he has all the potential for normal growth), fans often wondered if Lewis would be able to find love even with his midget height.
Disappointingly, no information about Lewis’ love life has ever been made known to the public. Well, that’s not much of a surprise as he once said in an interview; “I would never really expose any of my girlfriends to the Press. Everything that I would have with them would be very private…”
Emmanuel Lewis has also never fathered a child, at least not that the media knows of. He also does not have any verified social media accounts. However, recent pictures of him often surface on social media.