Joseph Marcell

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Joseph Marcell
Joseph Marcell (14282811444 a008fff1c0 n) (cropped).jpg
Marcell at the Lakeside Theatre in 2014
Born (1948-08-14) 14 August 1948 (age 70)
ResidenceBanstead, Surrey, England
OccupationActor, comedian
Years active1974–present
Spouse(s)Judith M. Midtby
(m. 1975; div. 19??)
Joyce T. Walsh
(m. 1995)

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

He studied theatre and science at the University of Sheffield, then took courses in speech and dance at the Central School of Speech and Drama.


As a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he appeared in productions of Othello and A Midsummer Night's Dream. He has also appeared often on British television and in feature films.

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,[2] and King Lear.[3] In 2016 he played Gonzalo in the play by Shakespeare The Tempest at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse,[4][5] and Solly Two Kings in the play by August Wilson Gem of the Ocean at Tricycle Theatre in London.[6] In July 2017, Marcell began rehearsals as Titus Andronicus for the La Grande Shakespeare Company in La Grande, Oregon.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Marcell has been married twice. His first marriage was in 1975 to Judith M. Midtby; the couple eventually divorced. His second wife is Joyce T. Walsh, to whom he has been married since June 1995. Marcell has two children: Ben and Jessica Marcell.

Film and television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1974 Antony and Cleopatra Eros
1978 Empire Road Walter Isaacs
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
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
2006 EastEnders Aubrey Valentine
2007 Rough Crossings David George
2008 Holby City Carl Webster
2008 A Touch of Frost Joshua Ray
2014 Death In Paradise Alexander Jackson Episode: "The Man with the Golden Gun"
2019 The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Chief Wembe



  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. ^ Jaffee, Larry (29 September 2014). "Touring the Globe As 'King Lear', Joseph Marcell Talks 'Fresh Prince', Shakespeare and 'EastEnders'". Huffington Post. Oath Inc. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  9. ^ Billington, Michael (12 January 2006). "Gem of the Ocean". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media Limited. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  10. ^ Morgan, Fergus (25 January 2018). "Lady Windermere's Fan at the Vaudeville, London – review round-up". The Stage. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  11. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (24 February 2016). "The Tempest is a magical last bow for the Globe's Dominic Dromgoole". Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 24 March 2019.

External links[edit]