Joseph Marcell

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Joseph Marcell
Joseph Marcell (14282811444 a008fff1c0 n) (cropped).jpg
Born (1948-08-14) 14 August 1948 (age 74)
Castries, Saint Lucia
Alma materUniversity of Sheffield
Occupation(s)Actor, 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.

Born in Saint Lucia,[1] he moved to the United Kingdom, when he was 9 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 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 TV movie
1978 Real Live Audience Second Man in Audience TV movie
1987 Playing Away Robbo
Cry Freedom Moses
1990 The Loser Bartender Short
1993 David Copperfield Mr. Micawber (voice) TV movie
1994 Sioux City Dr. Darryl Reichert
2004 A Beautiful Life Juan Short
2006 Diamond Real Estate Mr. Rodeo Short
2007 Rough Crossings David George TV movie
That Samba Thing Nelson
Man, Broken George Short
2010 The Santa Trap Santa Short
2012 Much Ado About Nothing Leonato
2013 Fedz Eddie "Fast Eddie"
2014 Return to Zero Dr. Harrington
2016 The Complete Walk: King Lear King Lear Short
The Complete Walk: Henry V Chorus (voice) Short
2017 Wrapped up in Christmas Jim Nash TV movie
2018 Battledream Chronicles: A New Beginning Zeus Thunderking TV movie
2019 The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Chief Wembe
HERO Inspired by the Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr. Ulric Cross C.L.R. James
2020 The Man in the Hat The Old Man
2021 The Exorcism of God Father Michael Lewis
2022 Folding Errol Short


Year Title Role Notes
1978–79 Empire Road Walter Isaacs Main cast
1980 Fancy Wanders Alastair Episode: "With a Little Bit of Luck"
1981 Crown Court - Episode: "Cold Turkey: Part 1"
1983 The Professionals Nero Episode: "The Untouchables"
Rumpole of the Bailey Freddy Ruingo Episode: "Rumpole and the Golden Thread"
1984 The Kit Curran Radio Show Constantine Recurring cast: season 1
End of the Line Harry Main cast
1985 Juliet Bravo Bold Episode: "Hostage to Fortune"
1987 First Sight Mik Episode: "Some Day Man"
1988 Doctor Who John Episode: "Remembrance of the Daleks: Part Two"
The Return of Shelley Palmer Episode: "Emergency Ward 9"
1989 CBS Summer Playhouse Doc Holmes Episode: "Outpost"
Boon Charlie Fowkes Episode: "Arms and the Dog"
The Bill Wilmot Episode: "Pressure"
1990 Desmond's Matthew McFarlane Episode: "Porkpies"
Die Kinder Joe Episode: "Catastrophe Theory"
1990–96 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Geoffrey Butler Main cast
1992 EastEnders Adrian Bell Episode: 782 & 783
1993 Runaway Bay Samuel Episode: "The Robbery"
1997 Living Single Reese Episode: "Moonlight Savings Time"
McLibel! Robert Beavers Episode: "Episode #1.1"
1998 Renford Rejects Arthur Rodrigues Episode: "Bowled Over"
In the House Minister Episode: "My Pest Friend's Wedding"
The Bill Vernon Johnson Episode: "One Man, Two Faces"
Brothers and Sisters Pastor Gittens Episode: "Episode #1.1"
2003–04 The Bold and the Beautiful Hudson Regular cast
2005 Jericho Clive Marlowe Episode: "A Pair of Ragged Claws"
2006 EastEnders Aubrey Valentine Recurring Guest (8 episodes)
2008 A Touch of Frost Joshua Ray Episode: "Mind Games"
Holby City Professor Karl Webster Episode: "You Do it to Yourself" & "Eighteen and a Half"
2014 Death in Paradise Alexander Jackson Episode: "The Man with the Golden Gun"
2020 The Sandman African Grandfather (voice) Recurring cast
Ratched Len Bronley Episode: "Ice Pick" & "The Dance"
2021 Mammoth Roger Buck Main cast[8]
2022 I Hate You TBC Episode 1[9]



  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. Archived from the original on 17 June 2022. 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". British Comedy Guide.
  9. ^ "Robert Popper, Twitter".
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Smith, Will (20 September 2022). "Joseph Marcell was born in St. Lucia and came to England with his parents at the age of 7". University of Warwick. British Black and Asian Shakespeare Database. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  12. ^ Billington, Michael (12 January 2006). "Gem of the Ocean". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  13. ^ Morgan, Fergus (25 January 2018). "Lady Windermere's Fan at the Vaudeville, London – review round-up". The Stage. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  14. ^ 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.

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