Geoffrey Owens Quits Job at Trader Joe's a Year After Photo of Him Working There Went Viral: 'Keep the Faith'
His message to other struggling actors? "Keep the faith."
On Aug. 31, 2018, a woman posted a picture of actor Geoffrey Owens of "Cosby Show" fame working at a New Jersey Trader Joe's.
The image went massively viral, with some accusing the woman of shaming Owens. Celebrities came to his defense, sharing the many jobs they had to support themselves while working in showbiz.
Nearly a year to the day, a beaming Owens strolled down the black carpet at the season 6 premiere of "Power" at New York City's Madison Square Garden.
In that time, his life has done a complete 180. "In fact, today was the day I gave notice at Trader Joe's. Yesterday was my last day at work," Owens told InsideEdition.com.
He said the attention and support he gained for working at the supermarket chain catapulted him back into the spotlight. It snagged him steady work on both the small and big screens — enough he can now support himself entirely with the gigs.
"I've done a lot of jobs. There are still more TV projects that I've done that haven't been aired yet, including 'Power,' including Tyler Perry's ‘The Haves and the Have Nots’ and two other projects. There's also ‘Fatale’ with Hilary Swank and Michael Ealy. And one called ‘Hide and Seek’ with Jonathan Rhys Meyers that hasn't come out yet,” he said.
Owens shot to fame in the 1980s on "The Cosby Show," playing Dr. Cliff Huxtable's son-in-law, Dr. Elvin Tibideaux.
When the acting slowed down, he took the job at Trader Joe's to support his family. He said it also allowed him to maintain a flexible schedule that would let him keep working at his craft.
After photos of Owens at Trader Joe's went viral, many came to his aid as well, including Nicki Minaj.
"Nicki Minaj sent me $25,000, God bless her heart, which I then immediately donated to the Actors Fund."
Owens said the feeling was overwhelming.
"It's amazing. It's a little intimidating, like when Tyler Perry reached out to me, I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' You know, we've never met, we've never worked together before," he said.
"But Tyler and I ended up working extremely well together, and I’m a huge fan of his now, he’s just like a hero to me. So it’s all worked out really well. Something that started poorly, it turned into something wonderful.”
Now Owens is looking ahead to the future, and all the lights, cameras and action it will hold.
He said the experience has taught him an invaluable lesson he likes to pass on.
“Keep the faith. Keep your faith. Keep working, keep trying, don't give up. When I was working at Trader Joe’s, I never gave up on my dreams of being an actor. I was still in it. And it's just a matter of you do whatever you have to do, and when you do the right thing, you are rewarded. There’s always a reward in doing what you know is right to do.”
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