Actor Stories: Geoffrey Owens’ Rise and Fall…and Rise Again!

By Webmaster

  • Actor Stories: Geoffrey Owens’ Rise and Fall…and Rise Again!

    Owens’ newfound fame has given his career a renaissance

    (by Jim Webb)

    (Geoffrey Owens)

    “I’m Geoffrey Owens and I am an actor!”

    That was the bold declaration made by actor Geoffrey Owens at the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards. Owens received an extremely warm applause after the camera briefly panned over to him to deliver his statement. The outpouring of affection was a continuation of the love and support he received since he was “outted” and shamed by some for his recent choice of employment.

    One of the most difficult things about being an actor is the lack of appreciation that people outside “the business” have about how difficult it is to be a working actor. It can be an absolutely brutal business. The competition is fierce.

    Hot streaks often give way to long dry spells, where an actor doesn’t work for months. Sometimes years.

    Yet people outside the business believe it is all glitz, glamour, fame and fortune. They don’t understand how even successful actors can fall on hard times and must do what is necessary to survive.

    In Owens’ case, his journey started with a bang.

  • The Rise

    Owens began his career on fire. It was full speed from the start! There’s really no other way to describe making your television debut on the number one show on television; one of the greatest sitcoms of all time: The Cosby Show.

    (Cast of The Cosby Show)

    Owens, was cast as Elvin Tibideaux, the soft-spoken, witty boyfriend of the Huxtable’s eldest daughter, Sondra Huxtable, played by actress Sabrina LeBeauf, in the show’s second season. Their fictional characters would eventually get married and Owens became a regular on the show until it ended in 1992, after 8 seasons.

    All seemed to be going well for the Brooklyn, New York-born actor, until he ran into the thing that every working actor fears: a major dry spell.

  • The Fall
    After a successful run on an iconic show, there probably was nowhere for Owen’s career to go but down. And that’s exactly what happened. Owens would make a few more appearances on television, on shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

    But he was never able to come anywhere near the success he enjoyed on The Cosby Show. As the work dried up, the actor needed to make a career choice: continue acting or pursue a different career.

    “I decided to hang-in-there with my career” Owens decided.

    That meant he would have to find a survival job, one that would pay him a decent wage while allowing him flexibility to go on auditions. He chose to work at Trader Joes.

  • The Bottom
    Unfortunately for Owens, a customer recognized him from The Cosby Show and, unbeknownst to him, took pictures of him while he worked. The pictures ended up on the internet where he was mocked and shamed for having gone from the heights of Hollywood success to bagging groceries at a supermarket.

    Owens initially thought the controversy would be the death knell for his career. But the shaming of Owens was short-lived and was soon overtaken by the support of members of the entertainment community, fans of The Cosby Show and the public, who were outraged at the mocking of a struggling actor who was doing an honest day’s work.

    “When it first happened, I thought it was going to be devastating; I thought it was going to be catastrophic, and it has been the opposite,” he said. “So fortunately, that difficult time didn’t last very long.”

  • The Rise…Again!
    Owens, the former 1983 cum laude at Yale University, has since become famous all over again.

    “I kinda feel like that character in that Woody Allen movie that wakes up one morning and he’s a celebrity all of a sudden,” said Owens.

    (Geoffrey Owens at 2019 Sag Awards)

    Owen’s newfound fame has given his career a renaissance. He’s done countless interviews about the controversy. Film producers have reached out to him to offer him roles. And he’s landed roles on television shows like NCIS and on Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots.

    “It worked out pretty well,” said Owens, with a smirk.


    You Might Also Like:
    Actor Stories: Molly Shannon’s 10-Year-Struggle to Beat the Odds in Hollywood


     

    Recommended Posts

  • Ad

  • 7 Self-Tape Instructions Actors Often Ignore

    7 Self-Tape Instructions Actors Often Ignore Treat your self-tape like you’re baking a cake. Follow ALL directions and you’ll get a sweet result. (by Jim Webb) Self-taping was already the wave of the…

    5 Facts About Denzel Washington

    5 Facts About Denzel Washington The greatest African American male actor in the history of American cinema? (by Jim Webb) Is Denzel Washington the greatest African American male actor in the history of…

    What is the “Pick-an-Eye Technique”?

    What is the “Pick-an-Eye Technique”? An unofficial name for a brilliant acting technique (by Jim Webb) You probably already know who Michael Caine is from all his many roles in films like The…

    3 Misdemeanors to Avoid on Your Acting Résumé

    3 Misdemeanors to Avoid on Your Acting Résumé Misdemeanors aren’t felonious, but they can still be problematic (by Jim Webb) (Photo: Niu Niu/Unsplash) When it comes to an actor’s résumé, there are differing…

    5 Basic Facts About Robert De Niro

    5 Basic Facts About Robert De Niro One of the most storied careers the entertainment industry has ever seen (by Jim Webb) His legendary roles, in various iconic films, have established Robert De…

  • Ad

  • Netflix and Quarantine…and Watch Some Great Acting!

    Netflix and Quarantine…and Watch Some Great Acting! You can see lots of great, original movies, featuring some stellar acting performances, on Netflix (by Carmichael Phillips) (Photo: Freestocks/Unsplash) So, this Coronavirus pandemic has you…

    7 Basic Facts About Meryl Streep

    7 Basic Facts About Meryl Streep Here are 7 basic facts about the “greatest actress of her generation”: Meryl Streep (by Jim Webb) Meryl Streep is considered by many to be one of…

    Actor Stories: Geoffrey Owens’ Rise and Fall…and Rise Again!

    Actor Stories: Geoffrey Owens’ Rise and Fall…and Rise Again! Owens’ newfound fame has given his career a renaissance (by Jim Webb) “I’m Geoffrey Owens and I am an actor!” That was the bold…

  • Ad

  • Actors Who Have Tested Positive for the Coronavirus

    Actors Who Have Tested Positive for the Coronavirus The acting community has not been spared from the destruction (by Jim Webb) Covid-19 is ravaging our public health system and the global economy. It…

    Actor Stories: Molly Shannon’s 10-Year-Struggle to Beat the Odds in Hollywood

    Actor Stories: Molly Shannon’s 10-Year-Struggle to Beat the Odds in Hollywood How many years are you willing to dedicate to your dream of becoming a professional, working actor? (Arranged by Carmichael Phillips) How…

    Keep Your Actor Body!

    Keep Your Actor Body! Cut Down on Sugar to Stay in Shape During Quarantine (Todd Bruce) Coronavirus has robbed us of something many of us hold dear: our weekly or monthly trips to…

    Quarantine and Build

    Quarantine and Build…Your Acting Career! 5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Acting Career While Under Quarantine (by Jim Webb) “It was the worst of times. It was the worst of times.”…

    Don’t Do These 7 Things When Choosing a Monologue

    Don’t Do These 7 Things When Choosing a Monologue Here are some things you should absolutely avoid when choosing your next monologue (by Jim Webb) Are you looking for a new monologue? Don’t…

  • Ad

  • The Push Strategy vs. The Pull Strategy

    The Push Strategy vs. The Pull Strategy What if you, as an actor, didn’t wait for the market to demand your acting services? (by Carmichael Phillips) “My career began the day I left…

    7 Basic Facts about Stella Adler

    7 Basic Facts About Stella Adler Stella Adler left behind a powerful legacy, inspiring a who’s who of iconic actors (by Carmichael Phillips) Stella Adler (February 10, 1901- December 21, 1992) may have…

    “Tenacity is almost more important than talent” (Mark Hamill)

    “Tenacity is almost more important than talent” (Mark Hamill) (Arranged by AM staff) Actor Mark Hamill has a face most Star Wars fans would instantly recognize, even though he does some of his…

  • Ad

  • Don’t Panic! It’s Just a Redirect.

    Don’t Panic! It’s Just a Redirect. 5 Things You Can Do to Reduce the Fear of the Dreaded Redirect (By Jim Webb) Human beings didn’t always dominate the Earth. Once upon a time,…

    Actor Stories: How Rashida Jones Almost Gave Up on Acting

    Actor Stories: How Rashida Jones Almost Gave Up on Acting ‘It felt like a waste of time to keep doing this over and over again’ (by Carmichael Phillips) Ok, fine! Rashida Jones’ entertainment…

    “Don’t be a one-trick pony” (Christian Bale)

    “Go for new tricks. Don’t be a one-trick pony” (Christian Bale) (Arranged by Carmichael Phillips) In an interview with the Oral History of Hollywood, actor Christian Bale had an interesting take on the…

    5 Great New Year’s Resolutions for Actors

    5 Great New Year’s Resolutions for Actors Here are some great New Year’s resolutions you should strive for, if you haven’t already (by James Webb) We are a few weeks into the new…

    10 Reasons You Didn’t Book the Role You Should Have Booked

    10 Reasons You Didn’t Book the Role You Should Have Booked There are countless potential reasons why you didn’t book the role you thought surely you were going to book. Let’s just start…

  • Ad

  • “Listen and React” (Michael Caine)

    Michael Caine’s Greatest Advice to Film Actors: Listen and React “Listening is really what acting is all about, for movies. It’s not like the theatre. It’s an entirely different situation.” “When I was…

    What is the “Repetition Exercise”?

    What is the “Repetition Exercise”? There are several objectives that the Repetition Exercise seeks to achieve. Chief among these is to increase the actor’s reliance on their instincts. (by Tonya Tannenbaum) The “Repetition…

    “Education is so essential” (Jake Gyllenhaal)

    Education is Essential “Education is so essential, because there’s no way of knowing what good material is, or knowing if a story is original, or knowing what makes a story original, or know…

  • Ad

  • 5 Basic Facts About Sanford Meisner

    5 Basic Facts About Sanford Meisner Though he died in 1997, his work continues to live on… (by Carmichael Phillips) Sanford Meisner (August 31, 1905 – February 2, 1997) had a profound impact…

    That Time I Crashed an Audition, and Lived to Tell About It!

    That Time I Crashed an Audition, and Lived to Tell About It! Don’t try this at home, kids! (The Anonymous Actor) Don’t try this at home, kids. This maneuver is only for the…

    “Do you want to be an actor or do you want to be a star or a celebrity?” (Don Cheadle)

    “Do you want to be an actor or do you want to be a star or a celebrity?” (Don Cheadle) (Arranged by Carmichael Phillips) You probably know Don Cheadle from his starring role…

    Before You Blame Your Agent….

    Before You Blame Your Agent… Because, it’s not always your agent’s fault (By Jim Webb) You’re not getting enough auditions. Your friends are auditioning like crazy, while you rarely get any. The knee-jerk…

    “To be an interesting actor, you must be authentic” (Sanford Meisner)

    “To be an interesting actor – hell, to be an interesting human being – you must be authentic and for you to be authentic you must embrace who you really are, warts and…

    3 Important Questions to Answer Before Your Next Headshot Photoshoot

    3 Important Questions to Answer Before Your Next Headshot Photoshoot Remember, the goal of a headshot is not just to produce a pretty looking headshot (by Jim Webb) Before you go out and…

    The Callback Checklist

    The Callback Checklist Check these items off your list before you go in for your next callback (by Carmichael Phillips) Are you ready for your next callback? Check these items off your list…

    Why Building Relationships with Casting Directors is So Important

    Why Building Relationships with Casting Directors is So Important One of the best ways to improve your odds is to emphasize relationship-building as a core part of your strategy for success (by Carmichael…

    Load More