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See Elvin From "The Cosby Show" Now at 61

Geoffrey Owens is still acting, and his son is following in his footsteps.

Outside of the members of the Huxtable family, the next most important character on The Cosby Show was Elvin Tibideaux. Played by Geoffrey Owens, Elvin began the series as eldest child Sondra Huxtable's (Sabrina LeBeauf) boyfriend. They went on to get married in the fourth season and welcomed twins together in Season 5. Elvin could be counted on to express some pretty old-fashioned views about marriage and gender roles, but he became more accepted by the family over time.

In addition to his role on The Cosby Show in the '80s and early '90s, Owens has appeared on many other TV series. He also made headlines a few years ago when he was spotted working in a service industry, which sparked a conversation about "job-shaming." Read on to find out more about Owens' life today.

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He's continued acting, mostly on TV.

Geoffrey Owens on "The Cosby Show"
Carsey-Werner Distribution

The Cosby Show was Owens' first TV role, but he's had many more since. He's appeared on Law & Order, Boston Legal, Without a Trace, The Leftovers, Divorce, The Blacklist, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and several other hit series. Most recently, Owens he played recurring roles on the series The Haves and the Have Nots, The Good Fight, and Power Book II: Ghost.

He's also a teacher.

Geoffrey Owens at FringeNYC 2012 Press Launch at the New School for Drama in 2012
Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Owens has also spent a good deal of his career in the theater world, including acting in plays, directing, and teaching. His teaching has focused on Shakespeare, and he has taught at Columbia, Yale (his alma mater), Pace, and at various other acting school and studios. He also founded The Brooklyn Shakespeare Company.

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He made headlines for doing another type of work.

In 2018, Owens was in the news after a photo of him working at a Trader Joe's was published by the Daily Mail and went viral. Fans were surprised to see a recognizable actor in that context, but some of the discussion prompted by the photo was of a more offensive nature, rooted in the idea that working at a grocery store is something to be ashamed of.

"I was really devastated," Owens told Good Morning America of the photos getting released, "but the period of devastation was so short, because so shortly after that the responses—my wife and I started to read these responses from literally all over the world of support." Some of those messages were from fellow actors and others in the industry.

Owens explained that even with teaching and acting, he "got to a point where it just didn't add up enough, and you've gotta do what you've gotta do." So, he chose a job where he could have flexibility and still take on roles.

"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," he said on GMA. "Every job is worthwhile and valuable. And if we have kind of a rethinking about that because of what happened to me, that would be great, but no one should feel sorry for me."

His son has followed him into the industry.

Geoffrey and Jordyn Owens at the premiere of "Uncoupled" in July 2022
Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Netflix

Owens and Josette Owens have been married since 1995, and they have a son, Jordyn Owens. Jordyn is also an actor, and the 23-year-old just made his debut on the Netflix series Uncoupled. The father and son attended the premiere of the show together in July 2022.

"I'm beyond words proud," Owens told Page Six. "I'm speechless." According to the publication, Jordyn is also a model and a painter, and he previously played basketball for the University of Massachusetts.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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