Posted: September 05, 2018

'Cosby' star Geoffrey Owens flattered by Tyler Perry's 'very generous' job offer

Actor Geoffrey Owens (left) and movie mogul Tyler Perry.
Robin Marchant / Getty Images
Actor Geoffrey Owens (left) and movie mogul Tyler Perry.

By Rodney Ho, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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 Tuesday.

>> Tyler Perry offers ‘Cosby’ star Geoffrey Owens work after Trader Joe’s job goes viral

“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. 

>> Geoffrey Owens, ‘The Cosby Show’ actor, gets gig after being seen working at Trader Joe’s

What You Need To Know: Tyler Perry

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

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

He continues to work as an actor, but he said he needed a flexible job between teaching and acting gigs. 

>> Read more trending news 

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. 


Tyler Perry offers ‘Cosby’ star Geoffrey Owens work after Trader Joe’s job goes viral

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Tyler Perry offers ‘Cosby’ star Geoffrey Owens work after Trader Joe’s job goes viral

It looks like”Cosby Show” alum Geoffrey Owens may have a few doors open to him in the entertainment business.

>> Read more trending news 

The actor was recently spotted bagging groceries at a Trader Joe’s in New Jersey.

The couple who spotted him posted the photo on the internet and it was picked up by Fox News and the Daily Mail.

>> Related: Geoffrey Owens: Don’t feel sorry for me

Since then Owens has received support from fellows actors and others in the entertainment industry . 

The sad case of “job shaming,” even caught the attention of Atlanta entertainment executive and actor Tyler Perry, who reached out to Owens on Twitter.

>> Related: Geoffrey Owens, ‘The Cosby Show’ actor gets acting gig after being seen working at Trader Joe’s

“I’m about to start shootings OWN’s number one drama next week” Perry tweeted.

Come join us!!! I have so much respect for people who hustle between gigs. The measure of a true artist,” he said.

Geoffrey Owens, ‘The Cosby Show’ actor offered acting gig after being seen working at Trader Joe’s

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Geoffrey Owens, ‘The Cosby Show’ actor offered acting gig after being seen working at Trader Joe’s

Geoffrey Owens did what he needed to do to support his wife and two children. But that didn’t stop Fox News and other media outlets from ridiculing him for working at New Jersey Trader Joe’s between acting gigs. 

Owens said the job not only allowed him to have a steady paycheck, but gave him the flexibility to audition, The Grio reported.

He told “Good Morning America” Tuesday that he’d been working there for 15 months and that people did recognize him.

The spotlight cast by the news outlets backfired, with other actors supporting Owens, who played Elvin on “The Cosby Show,” by sharing the side jobs they had to take to make ends meet, even while working on a hit television show. 

Patricia Heaton, who starred on “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The Middle,”  said she was summarizing depositions to pay rent while she was on “Thirtysomething.”

>> Read more trending news 

Terry Crews, who left an NFL career, swept floors.

Luis Guzman shared was a social worker on the Lower East Side in New York City.

Chris Rankin, who played Percy Weasley in the Harry Potter series of films, said he worked in a kitchen after the films ended.

Still others shared what they do between acting jobs.

Tyler Perry, after the story started trending, offered Owens a new job on a show for OWN, The Grio reported

Trader Joe’s job isn’t the only one Owens has held since his days on “The Cosby Show” ended. He also worked at Yale, teaching acting classes, according to The Grio, as well as, being featured on recent shows of “Elementary,” “The Blacklist” and “Lucifer.”

Owens appeared on “Good Morning America” to talk about the story and how so many people reached out, saying that it has been overwhelming.

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