Geoffrey Owens

Geoffrey Owens
Geoffrey Louis Owens

(1961-03-18) March 18, 1961 (age 60)
Alma materYale University
Years active1985–present
(m. 1995)

Geoffrey Louis Owens (born March 18, 1961) is an American actor known for his role as Elvin Tibideaux on The Cosby Show (1985–1992). He is the son of former United States Congressman Major Owens.

Early life and education

Owens was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Ethel (née Werfel), a music and literature teacher, and Major Owens, a librarian who later went on to serve in the New York State Senate and the United States House of Representatives.[1][2] He has two brothers and two half-siblings from his father's second marriage.[1] Owens attended the High School of Performing Arts for a year and graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1983.[3][4]


One of Owens's earliest roles was in at Arcata High School theater performance where he played the title role in a performance of Peter Pan. This initial outing was what galvanized him to become an actor later in life.[5]

In 1985, Owens made his television debut on the second season of the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show as Sondra Huxtable's boyfriend Elvin Tibideaux. Tibideaux married Sondra and became a regular character in 1987 and appeared on the series until it ended in 1992.[1][6]

He has appeared as a lawyer on season 6 episode 1 of Elementary. He has appeared as himself on the FX sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. In the season 3 episode "The Gang Gets Invincible" he appears at the Philadelphia Eagles' public tryouts as an actor pretending to be Donovan McNabb doing a plug for McDonald's but the gang recognize him as "that guy from The Cosby Show" who played "Sondra's husband ... Alvin [sic]". In the season 7 episode "Frank's Pretty Woman" he plays the same character, this time pretending to be Tiger Woods.[7] Dee, however, recognizes him and calls him out as the guy who pretended to be McNabb at the Eagles' tryouts. He then admits he is not Tiger Woods but then claims to be actor Don Cheadle.

In 2007, Owens guest-starred as Eddie's father in the That's So Raven episode "The Way We Were". He also appeared on the season premiere of NBC's Las Vegas.[citation needed]

In 2008, he appeared alongside Paul Campbell, Andy Griffith, Doris Roberts, Liz Sheridan, Marla Sokoloff and Juliette Jeffers in the romantic comedy Play The Game.[8]

In 2010, he appeared on ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager as a court-appointed mediator. He also appeared on the ABC show FlashForward in the episode "The Garden of Forking Paths", playing a researcher.[9]

In 2011, Owens portrayed the role of Casca at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in its Free-For-All production of Julius Caesar.[citation needed]

In 2015, he portrayed an obstetrician on the NBC drama series The Slap, in an episode entitled "Ritchie".[citation needed]

In 2017, he portrayed an assistant dean on the FOX drama series Lucifer, in an episode entitled "Deceptive Little Parasite".[10]

In 2018, photos of Owens working in a Trader Joe's were published by The Daily Mail, which many characterized as "job shaming."[11] Owens agreed with the "job shaming" characterization, eventually quitting due to the unwanted attention.[12] The story led producer Tyler Perry to offer Owens a ten-episode role in The Haves and the Have Nots.[13][14] Owens also booked a guest-starring role on NCIS: New Orleans and supporting roles in the films Fatale and Hide and Seek.[15][16][17]

In 2020, he starred in the film Impossible Monsters, where he played a police detective. "I’m usually cast as dads, lawyers, doctors, teachers, and so to play a detective it was really fun," he said.[18] He has now gained a supporting role in Power Book II: Ghost.


Owens is the founder and artistic director of The Brooklyn Shakespeare Company. He has taught acting and Shakespeare at Columbia University, Yale, the Adult School of Montclair and Pace University. In addition to developing his own private Shakespeare workshop, he has been a guest teacher at universities, theaters, studios and high schools in the New York metropolitan area. He has also served as a judge for the National Shakespeare Competition semi-finals at Lincoln Center for at least twenty-five years.[19]

Personal life

In 1995, Owens married his wife, Josette. Together they have one son.[3]



Year Title Role Notes
1994 The Paper Lou
1990 Stonebrook Marty
Forgiven Stan Short film
1995 The Amistad Revolt: All We Want Is Make Us Free Joseph Cinque Voice
Docudrama short
2001 The Cross Featured Apostle
2009 Play the Game Rob
Speaking of Baghdad Documentary
2010 Sami's Cock Short film
2011 Wilde Salomé Tigellinus / Himself
2013 Dreams Mr. Welch
2014 Romeo and Juliet Prince Escalus Filmed from a 2013 Broadway play
2016 Youth in Oregon Dr. Roma
2018 Hibiscus Tad
2019 Impossible Monsters Jacobs
2020 Victor in Paradise Simon Short film
Fizzle Man Who Sneezes Short film
Fatale Bill Cranepool
TBA klutz. Harold Short film
Hide and Seek Lyle Post-production
Tale of the Wet Dog Carl Creedmore Pre-production


Year Title Role Notes
1985-1992 The Cosby Show Elvin Tibideaux 44 episodes
1990 ABC Afterschool Special Mr. Singer Season 19 episode 3: "Stood Up!"
1997 Built to Last Robert Watkins 8 episodes
1999 Law & Order Langer Season 9 episode 24: "Refuge: Part 2"
2002 The Cosby Show: A Look Back Himself / Elvin Tibideaux Documentary
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Dr. Constantino Season 4 episode 7: "Dolls"
2007 That's So Raven Michael Thomas Season 4 episode 21: "The Way They Were"
The Wedding Bells Dr. Harris Episode 5: "The Most Beautiful Girl"
Boston Legal Dr. Mitch Morris Season 4 episode 1: "Beauty and the Beast"
Las Vegas Dr. Eric Haber Season 5 episode 2: "Shrink Rap"
Life from the Inside N/A Director
Episode 5: "*Side Effects May Include Night Terrors"
The Journeyman Matthew Tarbell Episode 4: "The Year of the Rabbit"
2007-2011 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Fake Tiger Woods / Middle Aged Guy - Donovan McNabb imposter 2 episode
2008 Medium Unemployment worker / Unemployment Evaluator 2 episodes
I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant Hospital Staff Episiode: "Special #1"
Without a Trace Jay Costas Season 7 episode 6: "Live to Regret"
2009 In the Mix Harvey Deets TV movie
Action Auto Officer Martin TV movie
2010 FlashForward Dr. Julian Ebbing Episode 17: "The Garden of Forking Paths"
2010-2011 The Secret Life of the American Teenager Mediator / Judge 2 episodes
2014 The Leftovers Kind Man Season 1 episode 10: "The Prodigal Son Returns"
The Affair Victor Season 1 episode 10
2015 The Slap Dr. Fletcher Miniseries
Episode 8: "Richie
Deadbeat Arthur Season 2 episode 2: "Table for Sue"
Divorce Gerald 3 episodes
2017 Blue Bloods Sergeant Weller Season 7 episode 19: "Love Lost"
Lucifer Assistant Dean Season 2 episode 15: "Deceptive Little Parasite"
The Blacklist Dresner Season 5 episode 4: "The Endling (No. 44)"
Greenport JT
2018 Elementary Vernon Fisk Season 6 episode 1: "An Infinite Capacity for Taking Pains"
NCIS: New Orleans Commander Calvin Atkins Season 5 episode 6: "Pound of Flesh"
2019 Billions Abington Season 4 episode 6: "Maximum Recreational Depth"
On Becoming a God in Central Florida Pastor Steve 2 episodes
(Future) Cult Classic Detective Moscovitz TV movie
2020 Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet Tom Season 1 episode 5: "A Dark Quiet Death"
Power Daniel Warren 2 episodes
The Haves and the Have Nots Conley 4 episodes
Bless This Mess Pastor Paul 3 episodes
Power Book II: Ghost Daniel Warren Season 1 episode 8: "Family First"


  1. ^ a b c Baker, Kathryn (October 22, 1987). "For newest 'Cosby' actor, love was in the script". Akron Beacon Journal. p. C6. Retrieved September 1, 2018 – via Free to read
  2. ^ Bernstein, Adam (October 22, 2013). "Major R. Owens, former congressman, dies at 77". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Filichia, Peter (October 29, 2010). "'Opus' preview: 'Cosby Show' veteran to perform in Red Bank". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  4. ^ Thompson, Dana (October 16, 2014). "Former Cosby Show star Geoffrey Owens to present Masterclasses at Shorter". Shorter University. Archived from the original on September 2, 2018. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  5. ^ "Geoffrey Owens Talks About Growing Up, The Cosby Show, and Life Now". Retrieved September 11, 2017.[dead link]
  6. ^ "More 'Cosby' regulars". The Republic. August 18, 1987. p. A2. Retrieved September 1, 2018 – via Free to read
  7. ^ Yoshida, Emily (September 15, 2011). "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: "Frank's Pretty Woman"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  8. ^ "Cast Bios". Play the Game. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  9. ^ "Geoffrey Owens". TV Guide. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  10. ^ "Scoop: LUCIFER on FOX - Monday, May 8, 2017". May 8, 2017. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  11. ^ Dekoupil, Tony (September 3, 2018). "Stars defend "Cosby Show" actor from "job-shaming" after photos of him bagging groceries go viral". CBS News.
  12. ^ Associated Press. "'Cosby' actor thankful for support about grocery store job - The Boston Globe". Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  13. ^ Capatides, Christina (September 4, 2018). "Tyler Perry just offered former "Cosby Show" star Geoffrey Owens a job". CBS News.
  14. ^ Geoffrey Owens: 'Job-shamed' Cosby Show star lands TV role BBC News. September 7, 2018. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  15. ^ "Geoffrey Owens Books 'NCIS: New Orleans' Guest Role". Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  16. ^ "Geoffrey Owens to Join Michael Ealy in Noir Thriller 'Fatale' (Exclusive)". Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  17. ^ ‘Hide And Seek’: Former ‘Cosby Show’ Star Geoffrey Owens Joins CJ Entertainment Horror Remake
  18. ^ "Interview: Geoffrey Owens on Auditions, the Trader Joe's Aftermath and His New Film, 'Impossible Monsters'". Daily Actor. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  19. ^ "Actor/Director/Teacher Geoffrey Owens". Actor/Director/Teacher Geoffrey Owens. Retrieved September 5, 2018.

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