WEBSTER/ABC/1983-87/SYN/1987-89 (Short Person)
Webster Long (Emmanuel Lewis), a small, 5-year-old black boy (40 inches high) who was adopted by two white adults after his parents (Travis and Gert Long) died in a car crash.
After losing his parents, Webster is adopted by his godfather who happens to be George Papadopolis , a retired football star (Alex Karras) and sportscaster at local station WBJX-TV. George’s newly married wife, Katherine Calder-Young (Susan Clark) was a socialite and consumer advocate with no domestic skills. Katherine later became a family psychologist.
Although new to the parent game, the Papadopolises adjusted their lives and helped raise the tiny orphan the best they could in a luxurious high-rise apartment in Chicago, Illinois. George’s aging father, George Sr. (Jack Kruschen) known to all as “Papa” Papadopolis visited and interacted with Webster.
Webster’s Uncle Phillip Long (Ben Vereen) had issues with Webster living with a white couple and wanted to adopt his nephew. Eventually, Phillip decided to move to Hollywood without Webster to become an actor.
Then there was the fire. While experimenting with a science kit, Webster accidentally burned down the family’s apartment. They relocated to a large Victorian house at 1432 North State Parkway in Chicago’s Gold Coast. The home owners, Bill and Cassie Parker (Eugene Roche and Cathryn Damon) leased the upper house to the Papadopolises, while they lived in the basement apartment. The Parkers later moved to Florida and sold the house to George and Katherine, and, of course, Webster.
Note: Emmanuel Lewis was born March 9th, 1971 in Brooklyn, New York. Lewis insists his short stature is not attributable to any debilitating medical condition. The then 42″ (3″ 6″) tall star has grown since the age of 12. His current height is recorded at 4ft. and 3 inches.
The 11,000-square-foot, Gold Coast mansion used as the family home of TV’s “Webster” went up for sale in April of 2016 for $9.499 million.