Emmanuel Lewis was born March 9th, 1971 in Brooklyn, New York. The youngest son of Margaret Lewis, a former computer-science professional, Emmanuel attended regular public schools in Brooklyn until his busy acting career took him to Hollywood. He has four siblings. His acting career began one day when he was jogging with an actor-friend who asked him if he wanted to be in the business. The friend suggested that Emmanuel’s mother contact the Shuller Talent Agency, which handles gifted children for TV commercials. He thought that Emmanuel had the perfect face and personality for commercials. The friend proved right. Emmanuel was signed by the agency the minute the agents saw him and before long he was appearing in commercials for such products as fruit juice, cars, stereos, glue, soup, toys, coffee, pudding, pizza, and, of course, Burger King. He did around 50-60 commercials including one for Campbell’s Soup and Life Cereal and the 4 Burger King commercials. His Colgate commercial can be seen in the movie ‘Splash’ when Madison (the mermaid) goes to the mall (it can be seen on the TVs in the background).
The first acting job Emmanuel had that wasn’t in a commercial was the part of The Changeling Boy in the Joseph Papp New York Shakespeare Festival Production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Emmanuel also guest-starred on such TV talk shows as “The Tonight Show” and “The Phil Donahue Show” but “Webster” was Emmanuel’s first major role on a TV series.
Emmanuel also became one of the biggest stars in Japan as well as America. He made three personal-appearance tours in that country, and a record he made there shot to the top of the charts. He even made a television movie for Japanese television called Samurai in New York.
He has maintained a friendship with music superstar Michael Jackson for many years. It all began when they met at an awards ceremony. After that, Michael insisted that Emmanuel accompany him to such events as “The Emmy Awards Show” and “The Academy Awards Presentations” (they would often dress alike). The two young men spent many happy hours together discussing performing and show business.
Besides Webster, Emmanuel has done guest spots on The Love Boat, In the House, Family Matters (as himself), Malcolm & Eddie (as himself), and Moesha (in the episode “The Short Story”). He also did a 1985 TV movie called Lost in London which co-starred Ben Vereen. He also did ‘The New Adventures of Mother Goose Special’ with Sally Struthers.
The 3′ 6″ tall (he says there is no known medical reason for his still-short stature and has grown 6″ since the age of 12) Lewis graduated from Clark Atlanta University with a theater arts degree in 1997. He is said to be looking for another TV series and to possibly go into directing. He is good friends with Marc Price (‘Skippy’ on Family Ties and now a stand-up comedian) and has gone on tour with him and done various promotional appearances with him.
He founded his own musical label called Emmanuel Lewis Entertainment. He is said to have a black belt in karate and is a martial arts expert. He also is a student of Billy Blanks’ Tae-Bo.
Emmanuel guest-starred on the new original USA Network thriller called GvsE. In the August 1st 1999 episode, he played an…uh…explosive character proving that not only Good things come in small packages.
In February 2002, he appeared in a commercial for Denny’s.
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