Joseph Marcell

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Joseph Marcell
Joseph Marcell (14282811444 a008fff1c0 n) (cropped).jpg
Marcell at the Lakeside Theatre, May 2014
Born (1948-08-14) 14 August 1948 (age 73)
Alma materUniversity of Sheffield
OccupationActor, comedian
Years active1969–present
Spouse(s)Judith M. Midtby
(m. 1975; div. 1980)
Joyce T. Walsh
(m. 1995)

Joseph Marcell (born 14 August 1948) is a British actor and comedian. He is best known for his role as Geoffrey Butler, the butler on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from September 1990 until the show ended in May 1996.[1] Born in Saint Lucia, he moved to the United Kingdom, when he was nine years old and grew up in Peckham, South London. Marcell currently lives in Banstead, Surrey.

He studied speech and dance at the Central School of Speech and Drama.


Marcell grew up in Peckham, South East London. As a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he appeared in productions of Othello and A Midsummer Night's Dream. He has also appeared in feature films and on television in Britain. He serves on the board of the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London where he featured in a nationwide production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and King Lear.[2][3]

He played Gonzalo in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in May of 2016.[4][5] He also played Solly Two Kings in the play by August Wilson, Gem of the Ocean at the Tricycle Theatre, in London, in January 2016.[6] Marcell began rehearsals as Titus Andronicus, in July 2017, for the La Grande Shakespeare Company, in La Grande, Oregon.[7]

Film and television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1974 Antony and Cleopatra Eros
1978–1979 Empire Road Walter Isaacs fifteen episodes
1980 The Professionals Nero Credited as Joe Marcell
1983 Rumpole of the Bailey Freddy Ruingo
1985 Juliet Bravo Bold
1987 Playing Away
1987 Cry Freedom Moses
1988 Doctor Who John Episode: “Remembrance of the Daleks
1989 Boon Charlie Fowkes
1990 Desmond's Matthew McFarlane
1990–1996 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Geoffrey Butler 146 episodes
1992 EastEnders Adrian Bell two episodes
1993 David Copperfield Mr. Micawber (voice)
1994 Sioux City Dr. Darryl Reichert
1997 Living Single Reese
1998 In the House Minister
1998 The Bill Vernon Johnson
1998 Brothers and Sisters Pastor Gittens
2003–2004 The Bold and the Beautiful Hudson twenty three episodes
2006 EastEnders Aubrey Valentine seven episodes
2007 Rough Crossings David George
2008 Holby City Carl Webster two episodes
2008 A Touch of Frost Joshua Ray
2014 Death in Paradise Alexander Jackson Episode: “The Man with the Golden Gun
2017 Wrapped up in Christmas Jim Nash
2019 The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Chief Wembe
2020 Ratched Len Bronley two episodes
2020 The Man In The Hat The Old Man
2021 Mammoth Roger Buck [8]



  1. ^ Made in the Caribbean (4 August 2012). "Caribbean Footsteps meets with Joseph Marcell". Retrieved 23 October 2017 – via YouTube. I really am and I've always been a Saint Lucian.
  2. ^ "King Lear Played by Joseph Marcell". Shakespeare's Globe. 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  3. ^ Linn, Sarah (12 November 2014). "Joseph Marcell goes from 'Fresh Prince' to 'King Lear'". Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Joseph Marcell as Gonzalo – The Tempest". BBC Programmes. BBC. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Gonzalo Played by Joseph Marcell". Shakespeare's Globe. 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  6. ^ Taylor, Paul (13 January 2016). "Gem of the Ocean, Tricycle Theatre, London". Independent. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  7. ^ Adair, Emily (26 January 2017). "'Fresh' face joins local production". La Grande Observer. A Western Communications Company. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Mammoth - BBC1 Wales Sitcom".
  9. ^ Jaffee, Larry (29 September 2014). "Touring the Globe As 'King Lear', Joseph Marcell Talks 'Fresh Prince', Shakespeare and 'EastEnders'". HuffPost. Oath Inc. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  10. ^ Billington, Michael (12 January 2006). "Gem of the Ocean". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  11. ^ Morgan, Fergus (25 January 2018). "Lady Windermere's Fan at the Vaudeville, London – review round-up". The Stage. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  12. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (24 February 2016). "The Tempest is a magical last bow for the Globe's Dominic Dromgoole". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 March 2019.

External links[edit]