“Webster” was a staple sitcom of the 80s. Similar in concept to the more popular ‘80s show “Diff’rent Strokes,” Webster is about a young African-American orphan who gets adopted by a white, newlywed couple. But, where are “Webster,” his castmates now? Our friends at Snakkle.com take a look at where the cast is today - 30 years after it first aired on TV in 1983.
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Emmanuel Lewis as Webster
Thanks to his obvious similarities to “Diff’rent Strokes” star Gary Coleman, Emmanuel Lewis was plucked from obscurity (after appearing in a Burger King commercial) to star in a sitcom that had pretty much the same premise as Coleman’s hit show. Lewis was given the role of the title character, Webster Long—an adorable and extremely lovable 6-year-old (although Lewis was 12 years old at the time) who became orphaned after his parents died in a car accident and was adopted by a white married couple, played by Alex Karras and Susan Clark.
A few years after “Webster” was cancelled, Lewis made guest appearances in a handful of ‘90s TV shows such as “Family Matters,” “Moesha” and “Malcolm & Eddie.” In 2003, he starred in the first season of “The Surreal Life,” a reality series about celebrity has-beens living together in a mansion for two weeks. At present, the now 41-year-old star is keeping busy with his own record label, Flex Floss Entertainment.
Alex Karras as George Papadapolis
Following his retirement from the NFL, celebrated athlete Alex Karras went on to become an actor. His first role was in the sports-themed film “Paper Lion,” in which he played himself. He then starred in a few movies (most notably “Blazing Saddles” and “Babe”) and TV shows, playing “tough guy” roles that fit in with his burly athlete appearance. It wasn’t until he became one of the stars of “Webster” that he was able to show his “softer side,” as little Webster’s adoptive father, George Papadapolis.
Sadly, Alex Karras died of kidney failure last year, on October 8, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Susan Clark, their daughter, Katie, and his children with his first wife, Joan Jurgensen.
Chad Allen as Rob Whitaker in “Webster”
Chad Allen had already starred in a number of TV shows—including the sitcom “Punky Brewster”—before appearing on the third season of “Webster” as Rob Whitaker (one of Webster’s friends) for four episodes.
Since being outed as a gay man 1996, Chad Allen has been an activist for the LGBT community. After his stint on “Webster,” he has continued to do guest roles on TV shows, most recently in the serial killer drama “Dexter.” Chad also played the starring role in the 2007 Sundance Film Festival film Save Me, in which he played a drug-addicted gay man.