You may remember Geoffrey Owens for his role as Bill Cosby’s son-in-law Elvin on The Cosby Show. Most people were surprised to learn Owens is now a proud Trader Joe’s employee.

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In today’s job market, no job is better than another. What matters is having a legal means to provide for yourself and others.

With that being said, Owens summarizes all the chatter about his employment as job shaming. The 57-year-old actor was spotted working at the supermarket in Clifton, New Jersey. Wearing his red badge and a smile on his face, you can tell the man is content.


On Tuesday morning he made an appearance on Good Morning America. Speaking with Robin Roberts, he acknowledged the outcry of support he’s received from Terry Crews, Blair Underwood, and Pamela Adlon.

“It’s really overwhelming in a good way,”  said Owens. “I really want to thank everybody out there: family, friends, Hollywood community and the general public for the incredible support, the amazing support, and positivity that they’ve shown for me. It’s quite astounding, it’s very encouraging.”

Owens can admit, transitioning from Hollywood was challenging.”I was really devastated, 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 and so, fortunately, the shame part didn’t last very long” he stated.

Dedicating over 30 years of his life to teaching, acting and directing, Owens says he took the position at Trader Joes as a means of making ends meet. Since then, he has been employed for the last 15 months. Additionally, Owens says his job affords him “flexibility,” so he could “try to stay in the business.”

He kept a low profile at work because he didn’t want to give off the impression that he had given up acting. Through it all, he has learned a valuable lesson and hopes others will learn this lesson through his experience. Thus,  restoring “the honor of the working person and the dignity of work,”  and the “reevaluation of the idea that some jobs are better than others because that’s actually not true.”

Considering his late father, Major Owens was known for his work as a former New York State Senator,  before he eventually went on to take Shirley Chisholm’s seat in Congress. It’s safe to say Geoffery was raised to see value in people from all walks of life.

“There is no job that’s better than another job,” he continued. “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, and if we have a kind of a rethinking about that because of what’s happened to me, that would be great, but no one should feel sorry for me, either from a positive or a negative perspective. I’ve had a great life, I’ve had a great career, and I’ve had a career that most actors would die for.”

source: USA Today