Geoffrey Louis Owens
March 18, 1961
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Yale University|
|Years active||1985 - Present|
|Josette (m. 1995)|
Owens was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Ethel, 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. He has two brothers. Owens attended the High School of Performing Arts for a year and graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1983.
One of Owen's earliest roles was in a local theater performance at Arcata High School 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.
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.
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. 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 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.
In 2015, he portrayed an obstetrician on the NBC drama series The Slap, in an episode entitled "Ritchie".
In 2018, photos of Owens working in a Trader Joe's were published by The Daily Mail, which many characterized as "job shaming." Owens agreed with the "job shaming" characterization, and due to the unwanted attention severed his employment at Trader Joe's. The story led producer Tyler Perry to offer Owens a ten-episode role in The Haves and the Have Nots. Owens also booked a guest-starring role on NCIS: New Orleans and supporting roles in the films Fatale and Hide and Seek.
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.
In 1995, Owens married his wife, Josette. Together they have one son.