Tuesday, September 4, 2018

You wanted to know . . . what happened to Geoffrey Owens of The Cosby Show?

Geoffrey Owens in Cosby Show days

"There's no job that's better than another job.  Every job is worthwhile and valuable."

- Geoffrey Owens
Good Morning America
September 4, 2018

I received a request for information on actor Geoffrey Owens from reader Peter P.

From 1985 until 1992, Geoffrey Owens played the boyfriend and eventual son-in-law of Dr. Cliff Huxtable (Cosby's character) on The Cosby Show.  Geoffrey portrayed Elvin Tibideaux, who married Cliff's daughter, Sondra Huxtable. in 1987.  He then became a regular member of the cast until the show finished its run in 1992.

Geoffrey Louis Owens was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 18, 1961.  He is the son of Major Robert Odell Owens (1936-2013), a prominent Democratic politician, who served in the New York State Senate from 1975 to 1982 and the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2007.  His mother, Ethel Werfel, a music and literature teacher, was Major Owens' first wife.  The marriage of Geoffrey's parents ended in divorce and his father remarried, this time to Maria A. Cuprill.  Marshall Owens died of congestive heart failure on October 21, 2013 at the age of 77.

Major Owens, Geoffrey's father

Geoffrey Owens has two brothers, Chris Owens and Millard Owens.  He graduated from Yale University in 1983.  In 1995, he married Josette Huber and they have a son.  Now 57, Geoffrey is still a working actor with 41 credits on IMDb.  Meanwhile, he has also been toiling as a cashier at a Trader Joe's grocery store in New Jersey.  A woman recognized him there and posted images of him on social media.  "It made me feel really bad,." the woman told the U.K.'s Daily Mail tabloid about her reaction to spotting the actor packing groceries.  "I was like, 'Wow, all those years of doing the show and you ended up a cashier.'"

The story was immediately picked up in a number of media reports, including one from Fox News.  The woman who posted the photos on social media probably meant well.  She doesn't seem to realize however, that her actions embarrassed and shamed Geoffrey Owens.  She hurt him deeply and she should have minded her own business.

People can be so judgmental and snobby.  No one should be made to feel ashamed for doing an honest day's work for a an honest day's pay.  In response to the Trader Joe's story, Geoffrey appeared on Good Morning America today (September 4th.), wearing his Trader Joe's name tag.  He said he had been  job shamed for working at Trader Joe's and that it hurt.  He revealed that he has been employed at Trader Joe's for 15 months and that the job has provided him with the flexibility to pursue acting gigs.  The bottom line is that the actor had bills to pay Trader Joe's provided him with a mean of making ends meet.

In an interview with CNN, Geoffrey Owens delivered a message to job shamers.  He told them to honour the dignity of work.  He reminded them that since The Cosby Show ended, he hasn't been able to find consistent acting roles.  "People don't realize," he asserted, that [the show] ended 26 years ago.  I have hardly ever had an acting job that lasted more than ten weeks"  "Most of the jobs," he explained, "were theater jobs that pay a lot less than television and film.'  The actor was also hurt financially after reruns of The Cosby Show were taken off the air after Bill Cosby was convicted of sexual assault last spring.

Geoffrey is appreciative of the outpouring of support he has received from other actors and celebrities such as Terry Crews, Blair Underwood and Pamela Adlon. and Everybody Loves Raymond's Patricia Heaton.  They realize that not all actors are filthy rich and that they can't always find consistent work in the entertainment industry.  Patricia Heaton summed it up neatly in her Tweet regarding Geoffrey Owens.  She wrote,, "Again, why is this news?  When I worked on Thirtysomething, I was slso summarizing depositions to pay my rent.  Why are you trying to humiliate this honorable hardworking actor?  Shame on you..  Geoffrey Owens - many great blessings are coming your way!"

Geoffrey Owens

- Joanne

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Joanne another great article.geoffrey is being a man doing an honest days work for honest days pay. At least he's keeping it legal God speed geoffrey. Thanks again Joanne will talk to you again.