When photos of former “Cosby Show” actor Geoffrey Owens working at a grocery store spread across the globe, at first he felt “devastated,” he said in an interview on “Good Morning America.”
But very quickly, Owens’ discomfort over articles from sites like the Daily Mail and Fox News “job shaming” him gave way to an “overwhelming” feeling of gratitude to the thousands of people who leapt to his defense, he said in the interview.
Owens played Elvin Tibideaux, husband of Sondra Huxtable, on the hit NBC sitcom from 1985 to 1992. He later appeared in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “That’s So Raven,” according to IMDB.com.
The Daily Mail published photos of Owens taken by a customer at a Trader Joe’s in New Jersey headlined, “From learning lines to serving the long line!” The photos show Owens ringing up groceries with a name tag reading, “Geoffrey.”
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“I was just in Trader Joe’s and I said to my wife, I said, ‘Wait a minute, that’s the guy from The Cosby Show,’ ” shopper Karma Lawrence told the publication. “It made me feel really bad. I was like, ‘Wow, all those years of doing the show and you ended up as a cashier.’ ”
Fox News also ran a story on Lawrence’s photos of Owens, quoting the Daily Mail story.
On Twitter, celebrities and actors decried the news coverage and defended Owens for going out and working, no matter what the job. They also pointed to a lesser-known side of working in entertainment: that day-jobs are not uncommon in a fickle industry.
Owens had not quit acting. He took the job at Trader Joe’s more than a year ago so he could have some flexibility while working in entertainment, he told “Good Morning America.” He said people had recognized him before and it had not been a big deal, but said he had left the job at the supermarket after all the attention, according to the site.
It’s allowed him to continue acting while working at the counter at the same time.
He’s appeared in several shows over the last few years, including “Divorce,” “Blue Bloods,” “Elementary” and “The Blacklist,” according to IMDB.
“There is no job that is better than another job. It might pay better, it might have better benefits, it might look better on a resume and on paper, but actually it’s not better. Every job is worthwhile and valuable,” Owens told “Good Morning America.”
But now Owens may have a new gig on the horizon, after filmmaker Tyler Perry tweeted an apparent job offer at Owens Tuesday morning.
“I’m about to start shooting(s) OWN’s number one drama next week! Come join us!!! I have so much respect for people who hustle between gigs. The measure of a true artist,” Perry wrote.