Four months after actor Geoffrey Owens was spotted working at a grocery store, he made a surprise appearance at the Screen Actors Guild Awards show on Sunday. The actor was spotted working as a bag boy at a Trader Joe’s in New Jersey. A woman recognized the actor and snapped a picture of him, and posted it online. The reaction to the picture was swift and mostly supportive, with most people applauding the actor for taking ‘a normal job’ to make ends meet.
When Owens appeared on stage at the Shrine Auditorium at the beginning of the show, he was met with a huge round of applause. He said the following, “Somewhere in the middle of the road of my life I found myself in the dark wood of unemployment and debt. But instead of switching careers like a sane person, I took a job at Trader Joe’s to see if I can hang in there. And um it’s actually worked out pretty well. I’m Geoffrey Owens and I’m an actor.” Owens played the son in law of Bill Cosby’s Dr. Cliff Huxtable, Elvin Tibideaux, from 1985 to 1992. Since the Cosby Show ended Owens has been able to snag several acting gigs.
Last fall he was facing a lull in his career and decided to try to climb out of debt, with the Trader Joe’s job. After his picture was posted many actors encouraged Owens ‘to just hang in there’ and shared their own stories of what they had to do to pay their bills in between acting gigs. Since the picture was posted, Owens was able to quit his job, after being offered an acting job. He is now a regular on Tyler Perry’s show, ‘The Have and Have Nots’ on OWN. Owens said the lady that took the picture did it to shame him, but ‘she actually revitalized my career, so all I can say to her is, “Thank You.”