Geoffrey Louis Owens|
March 18, 1961
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Yale University|
|Spouse(s)||Josette (m. 1995)|
Early life and education
Owens was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Ethel, a music and literature teacher, and Major Owens, a librarian who later went on to serve in the New York State Senate and the United States House of Representatives. He has two brothers. Owens attended the High School of Performing Arts for a year and graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1983.
One of Owen's earliest roles was in a local theater performance at Arcata High School where he played the title role in a performance of Peter Pan. This initial outing was what galvanized him to become an actor later in life.
In 1985, Owens made his television debut on the second season of the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show as Sondra Huxtable's boyfriend Elvin Tibideaux. He married Sondra and became a regular character in 1987 and appeared on the series until it ended in 1992.
He has appeared as himself on the FX sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. In the season 3 episode "The Gang Gets Invincible" he appears at the Philadelphia Eagles' public tryouts as an actor pretending to be Donovan McNabb doing a plug for McDonald's but the gang recognize him as "that guy from The Cosby Show" who played "Sondra's husband ... Alvin [sic]". In the season 7 episode "Frank's Pretty Woman" he plays the same character, this time pretending to be Tiger Woods. Dee, however, recognizes him and calls him out as the guy who pretended to be McNabb at the Eagles' tryouts. He then admits he is not Tiger Woods but then claims to be actor Don Cheadle.
In 2010, he appeared on ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager as a court-appointed mediator. He also appeared on the ABC show FlashForward in the episode "The Garden of Forking Paths", playing a researcher.
In 2018, photos of Owens working in a Trader Joe's were published by The Daily Mail, which many had characterized as "job shaming." Owens agreed with the "job shaming" characterization, and due to the unwanted attention severed his employment at Trader Joe's. The story led producer Tyler Perry to offer Owens a ten-episode role in The Haves and the Have Nots. Owens also booked a guest-starring role on NCIS: New Orleans and a supporting role in the film Fatale.
Owens is the founder and artistic director of The Brooklyn Shakespeare Company. He has taught acting and Shakespeare at Columbia University, Yale, the Adult School of Montclair and Pace University. In addition to developing his own private Shakespeare workshop, he has been a guest teacher at universities, theaters, studios and high schools in the New York metropolitan area. He has also served as a judge for the National Shakespeare Competition semi-finals at Lincoln Center for at least twenty-five years.
In 1995, Owens married his wife, Josette. Together they have one son.
- Baker, Kathryn (October 22, 1987). "For newest 'Cosby' actor, love was in the script". Akron Beacon Journal. p. C6. Retrieved September 1, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- Bernstein, Adam (October 22, 2013). "Major R. Owens, former congressman, dies at 77". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
- Filichia, Peter (October 29, 2010). "'Opus' preview: 'Cosby Show' veteran to perform in Red Bank". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
- Thompson, Dana (October 16, 2014). "Former Cosby Show star Geoffrey Owens to present Masterclasses at Shorter". Shorter University. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
- "Geoffrey Owens Talks About Growing Up, The Cosby Show, and Life Now". Retrieved September 11, 2017.[dead link]
- "More 'Cosby' regulars". The Republic. August 18, 1987. p. A2. Retrieved September 1, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- Yoshida, Emily (September 15, 2011). "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: "Frank's Pretty Woman"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
- "Cast Bios". Play the Game. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
- "Geoffrey Owens". TV Guide. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
- "Scoop: LUCIFER on FOX - Monday, May 8, 2017". BroadwayWorld.com. May 8, 2017. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
- Dekoupil, Tony (September 3, 2018). "Stars defend "Cosby Show" actor from "job-shaming" after photos of him bagging groceries go viral". CBS News.
- Associated Press. "'Cosby' actor thankful for support about grocery store job - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
- Capatides, Christina (September 4, 2018). "Tyler Perry just offered former "Cosby Show" star Geoffrey Owens a job". CBS News.
- Geoffrey Owens: 'Job-shamed' Cosby Show star lands TV role BBC News. September 7, 2018. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
- "Geoffrey Owens Books 'NCIS: New Orleans' Guest Role". Retrieved September 20, 2018.
- "Geoffrey Owens to Join Michael Ealy in Noir Thriller 'Fatale' (Exclusive)". Retrieved September 20, 2018.
- "Actor/Director/Teacher Geoffrey Owens". Actor/Director/Teacher Geoffrey Owens. Retrieved September 5, 2018.