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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Emmanuel Lewis (’Webster’) loses his home in Fayette County

Emmanuel Lewis at Frank Ski's wine auction and fundraiser at Ski's home in December, 2008. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Emmanuel Lewis at Frank Ski's wine auction and fundraiser at Ski's home in December, 2008. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Fayette County resident and actor Emmanuel Lewis, 40, is best known as Webster in the 1980s sitcom and a friend of the late great Michael Jackson.

Lewis has apparently hit upon hard financial times. Fayette County foreclosed on his home last September to cover unpaid taxes, TMZ reported earlier this week.

His home, which was co-owned by his mother Margaret, was sold in auction Sept. 6, 2011 for $56,000 to cover unpaid state, county and school taxes for the years 2007 to 2010.

A colleague of mine provided me the paperwork to confirm the TMZ information.

Sources frequently leak such bad celebrity news to TMZ. Lewis is so far off the fame radar nowadays, it took more than three months before TMZ even knew about it.

The last time I saw Lewis was at Frank Ski’s wine auction fundraiser in 2008 but didn’t get to talk to him.

(I reached out to Ski to try to reach Lewis but he said he no longer had his number and hadn’t heard from him in at least six months.)

Lewis had his own entertainment company called Emmanuel Lewis Entertainment Enterprises, which he dissolved in 2008, according to the Secretary of State website. Another company Global Entertainment Media Company dissolved in August, 2011. A non-profit organization under his name Future Begins Now was dissolved the same month.

I interviewed Lewis in 2003 by phone after the debut of the WB’s ‘Surreal Life.” Here is the story:

Atlantan Emmanuel Lewis, the pint-size star of the NBC sitcom “Webster” from 1983 to 1989, thought it would be a hoot to do a reality show.

“Reality shows are what’s going on right now, ” Lewis said by phone this week while getting a haircut at Just for You, a barbershop he’s frequented for years on Old National Highway in Atlanta.

Indeed, the big networks are flooding us with six “reality” series this week alone. WB’s “The Surreal Life” takes Lewis and six other “ex-superstars, ” as the trailers call them, and sticks them in a Hollywood Hills mansion once owned by Glen Campbell for 10 days of theoretical wackiness.

The biggest “ex-superstar” is Hammer, whose catchy “U Can’t Touch This” helped him sell millions in 1990-91. Lewis is joined by two other ’80s semi-icons, Vince Neil, vocalist of hair band Motley Crue, and Corey Feldman (”The Goonies, ” “Stand by Me”). Fans of early “Beverly Hills 90210″ might remember Gabrielle Carteris as the brainy Andrea Zuckerman. Few will remember Brande Roderick, a Playboy Playmate who was on “Baywatch Hawaii” for a season. And in an interesting — or desperate — twist, the producers threw in Jerri Manthey, the mouthy rabble-rouser from the second “Survivor” reality series.

Lewis, 32, a 1997 Clark Atlanta University graduate, looks much as he did from his sitcom days, and his distinctive laugh permeates tonight’s oddly compelling premiere episode. Nonetheless, he lays low, twice noting, “I’m a very private person.”

He doesn’t feel being on this show contradicts that notion: “Although you get a chance to see me, it’s limited. It’s not like following me around my own house. It’s like a situation comedy.”

He does promise he’ll be a lot more active in the remaining six shows and sneaks in unspecified “contraband.” (Cellphones, cash and Internet access are not allowed.)

Overall, Lewis says, “We went through an emotional roller coaster. We really bonded.”

The housemates shopped together, held a talent contest, went on a camping trip and hit the slots in Las Vegas, where Feldman gets married on camera.

Lewis diplomatically heaps compliments on his temporary roomies. Feldman is “a character.” Neil is “very deep.” And Playmate Roderick is “very smart.”

As for bunkmate Hammer, he had no clue whether the former-rap-king-turned-preacher was a snorer: “I couldn’t tell through my snoring.”

Lewis has launched a music label, Flex Floss, and a movie production company, though nothing concrete has come to be yet. He also filmed a minor part in an upcoming David Spade comedy, “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.” Lewis, a black belt, filmed a fight scene with Spade. “He had a stunt double do most of the work, ” Lewis noted, with a laugh.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

48 comments Add your comment

Really?

January 11th, 2012
2:01 pm

Is this something that needs to be reported?

Regina Rutledge

January 11th, 2012
2:11 pm

I saw Emmanuel once in a local Chinese restaurant here in Fayetteville. He noticed my daughter – we were sitting in the next booth – and offered her his uneaten ice cream (it came with the meal). He seems like a nice man. It’s always sad to hear that someone is losing their home. I wish him the best…

kevin

January 11th, 2012
2:23 pm

what chu talkin about rodney?

LT

January 11th, 2012
2:27 pm

That line was from Gary Coleman not Emmanuel Lewis.

Dummy

January 11th, 2012
2:27 pm

Wrong celeb, Kevin!

Captain Midnight

January 11th, 2012
2:29 pm

Kevin, too funny. He’s not Gary Coleman (dead) He’s Webster (broke).

[...] more Emmanuel Lewis (’Webster’) loses his home in Fayette County at Radio & TV Talk… /* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR [...]

Masterprince32

January 11th, 2012
2:34 pm

We see Brother Lewis Monthly! He is doing just fine. He’s doing more community service than TMZ could ever think of doing for our great city of Atlanta! Trust me! He’s far from Homeless and Broke!

Captain Midnight

January 11th, 2012
2:37 pm

‘He’s far from Homeless and Broke” Fayette co disagrees with you Master P.
Gots to pay them taxes yall.

Willis

January 11th, 2012
2:38 pm

Doin communuty service? What’s he on probation for, tax evasion?

Masterprince32

January 11th, 2012
2:46 pm

@Captn Midnight That is why this story had to be searched for. Do you know how long ago September has been? Inflated property values. Did you ever think about it being his second home? After the Sheriff’s Auction. The tax was paid. He was able to return and get the remaining balance waiting for him . Please go to the Public Records in Fayetteville and see the full story! TMZ only gave you a peice of what they wanted you to know.

Jack

January 11th, 2012
2:48 pm

I thought webster died.

Captain Midnight

January 11th, 2012
2:55 pm

It’s not his second home. He’s had it since he was rich. Bout 30 years ago. I’m guessing the $$ aint coming in like it used to. Just in over his head (hehe) I guess. No worries, I’m sure someone that can afford it will snatch it up. Mabe “the late great” MJ’s momma will front him some cash after she pays Jermains $ 91,000 back chile support.

Jeb McGruder

January 11th, 2012
3:16 pm

So what? Lots of people are losing their homes. Why should midgets be any different?

I do wonder if that home was set up for midgets……You know, low cabinets. no stairs…..

Von

January 11th, 2012
3:28 pm

@Kevin-LMAO! When I read he was friends with the late great Michael Jackson, I thought about the Ricky Smiley morning show last year when they called up to heaven. They asked for Michael Jackson and he said hello, they said we heard you have a new roommate called the short man. He said I thought it was Webster but it was Gary Coleman. LMAO! Do anyone remember that show?

Sorry2hear

January 11th, 2012
3:33 pm

I always find it amazing that the press has time to go after REPORTING people losing their homes but does little investigative reporting when it comes to those that profited illegally and still do in the housing market …shows that true “reporting” in this country is dead…long live reality tv..now that’s real NEWS… Tell your children please do not major in journalism… Total waste of time and money..

Jason

January 11th, 2012
3:44 pm

Webster was on ABC not NBC. Diff’rent Strokes was on NBC.

Bernard

January 11th, 2012
3:46 pm

Wow, just saw him in Oct. in Vegas at the Bellagio and he was at poker tables havin a good time we even got pictures with him and he was funny while we talked ABOUT THE ATL. HE will bounce back . Good guy…..

Turbo & Nitro

January 11th, 2012
3:57 pm

Breakdancing fundraiser to save Manny’s house, who’s in?

Buck

January 11th, 2012
3:59 pm

i got my refrigerator boxes ready yo!

Roger

January 11th, 2012
4:00 pm

i sat next to him on a plane & he is a really small guy

FMFats

January 11th, 2012
4:36 pm

I loved the appearance he made on My Super Sweet Sixteen when he helped the Paideia girl deliver “VIP” invitations to her sweet 16 party at Justin’s in 2006.

Allison Wonderland

January 11th, 2012
4:44 pm

I have never seen so many ignorant and uneducated people comment on this poor guy. Leave him alone LOSERS!!!

[...] Emmanuel Lewis at Frank Ski’s wine auction and fundraiser at Ski’s home in December, 200… Written by admin in: Michael Joseph Jackson News | [...]

Rick James

January 11th, 2012
4:53 pm

@Alan

You cant manage what’s not coming in moron…

this shocks you?

January 11th, 2012
4:55 pm

alllriiiiight

RK

January 11th, 2012
5:09 pm

So I guess he came up short?

And....

January 11th, 2012
5:16 pm

Webster did die, Emmaneul is the one living….

[...] Tough times for Emmanuel Lewis: The actor probably better known as Webster has lost his home in Georgia. [AJC] [...]

stnky frts

January 11th, 2012
6:10 pm

A very reliable source told me that former Atlanta “celebrity” Virginia Gunn was very touched by this story & is paying the mortgage off for that “cute little whipper-snapper”.

SheeshLouise

January 11th, 2012
6:29 pm

Gee, it’s so sad to know that “Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions” hasn’t been murdered yet. Maybe soon.

Amen?!!

sarah

January 11th, 2012
6:34 pm

Amen, SheehLouise, amen!!!!

Charlie

January 11th, 2012
7:07 pm

I guess Rodney was a little “short” on having some worthwhile news to report!

Brooklyn Bill

January 11th, 2012
7:53 pm

he made millions—where did all his money go? Hello??

Vince

January 11th, 2012
9:16 pm

Who gives a freaking damn about this?????????????

kreedham

January 11th, 2012
9:36 pm

Saw him in Publix in Fayetteville about a month ago…very friendly to the people he was talking too! Would have said hello but didn’t get the chance so he’s still around here!

TrishaDishaWarEagle

January 11th, 2012
11:09 pm

Alex Karras Wept

LOL!!!

January 11th, 2012
11:20 pm

I thought I had lost my shock value, but the idiots that drag their knuckles across their computer keyboards are beyond weird. Of course, the “integrationist” spouting idiot must know that IT……is among the knuckles dragging numbers.

jay

January 11th, 2012
11:45 pm

To the writer, so what if “Lewis is so far off the fame radar.” Maybe he’d rather have it that way. It’s not everybody’s dream to be a celebrity.

TheBigCat

January 12th, 2012
12:31 am

Sorry2hear you are exactly right!!! Franklin Raines,Chris Dodd, Barney Frank etc should all be in jail. Those Democrats totally wrecked the housing market and walked away with millions while people were losing their homes. Go to youtube and watch the Republican congressmen trying to warm people and question the soundness of the loan scam that they were running only to have Democrats like Maxine Waters, etc defend Franklin Raines and his actions.

Way to speak the truth Sorry2hear!!!!!

Funny

January 12th, 2012
6:29 am

I have no opinion one way or the other @Jeb McGruder your comment is very funny!!!

January 11th, 2012
3:16 pm
So what? Lots of people are losing their homes. Why should midgets be any different?

I do wonder if that home was set up for midgets……You know, low cabinets. no stairs…..

kevin

January 12th, 2012
6:50 am

Amused

January 12th, 2012
8:00 am

funny funny people here….sick (ignorant) funny and haha funny

DCstan

January 12th, 2012
8:40 am

man it so sad that people get off on other peoples misfortune. you know that old saying when you did a ditch for your brotha you better did another one for yourselves.

Short Changed

January 12th, 2012
8:52 am

Hmmm…about 2 months ago, I sat on a first class flight to Montreal. Just before we left Atlanta…Webster walks on and sits in 3C. Now, he could’ve been comp’ed for the flight by somebody, but if not, methinks I know why he couldn’t pay the tax man.

TheLazyComic

January 12th, 2012
2:54 pm

Webster? Wasn’t that a dictionary ??

GaPeachy

January 12th, 2012
4:44 pm

Very sad, never good to hear of anyone losing a home. My sister went to GSU with him, and said he was a very nice, funloving guy. Hope things get better for him.

Pootytang

January 13th, 2012
8:20 am

Jennifer Brett looks like the grinch