Geoffrey Owens flattered by Tyler Perry job offer

Originally filed Tuesday, September 4, 2018 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Former “Cosby Show” actor Geoffrey Owens, who was captured on video bagging groceries as an employee of a Trader Joe’s in New Jersey, said he was flattered by Atlanta mogul Tyler Perry’s Twitter job offer earlier today.

“That was kind of cool,” Owens told Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday. “I mean, that kind of sounded like he was saying, ‘Come work with me.’ I’m so, like, skeptical. Like, really? Are you actually saying come work with me? Because we’ve never worked together before. So, that’s a very, very generous thing for him to say. And we’ll see what happens with that. But, that’s encouraging.”

He said he doesn’t want to just be handed a job. He’d like to earn it. Perry was referencing a possible gig on his OWN drama “The Haves and the Have Nots,” which is the network’s highest rated show. It’s shot at Tyler Perry Studios at Fort McPherson in Atlanta. 

Owens, 57, said he quit the Trader Joe’s job after The Daily Mail and Fox News posted photos from a shopper of him bagging groceries for his own spiritual well being since folks had begun staking the place out just to see him. 

He was upset about the unflattering comments at first but a subsequent outpouring of support from fans and folks who believe he was being “shamed” made him feel better. 

He played Sondra Huxtable's doctor husband Elvin Tibideaux on “The Cosby Show” for 44 episodes from 1985 to 1992, according to

Geoffrey Owens on "The Cosby Show" three decades ago.

The man continues to work as an actor but he said he simply needed a flexible job between teaching and acting gigs. 

In recent years, he’s had single-episode roles on shows such as CBS’s “Elementary,” NBC’s “The Blacklist,” Fox’s “Lucifer,” CBS’s “Blue Bloods,” HBO’s “Divorce” and HBO’s “The Affair.”

After “The Cosby Show,” he said he never had an acting job that lasted more than 10 weeks. In other words, over the past 26 years, he was never able to nab a job as a regular on a scripted TV show that lasted any significant length of time. 

Actor Geoffrey Owens was photographed working at Trader Joe's, and two media outlets "shamed" him. Owens is probably best known for playing Elvin Tibideaux on "The Cosby Show." Thousands on social media came to his defense with words of support and encouragement. Owens told "Good Morning America" he has had to quit the job because of all the attention. However, he added, “No one should feel sorry for me.”

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.