Geoffrey Owens was an American actor born on March 18, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York. Owens was the son of Ethel, a music and literature teacher, and Major, a librarian turned politician. Major served as a New York State Senator from 1975 to 1982, and as a U.S. House Representative for New York from 1983 to 2007; he passed away in 2013. Owens also had two brothers, politician Chris and activist Millard. He attended the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan for a year, which also had trained performers like Eartha Kitt and Liza Minnelli. Owens graduated from Yale University in 1983, cum laude. Owens began his career on the stage, developing an affinity for Shakespeare which led him to found and direct The Brooklyn Shakespeare Company, as well as perform and teach the subject at institutions like Columbia and Yale. Owens' television debut was in his most notable role. In 1985, he joined the cast of "The Cosby Show" (NBC, 1984-1992) as Elvin Tibideaux, Sondra Huxtable's boyfriend; he became a regular player and stayed with the show until its end. Owens made his film debut in Ron Howard's "The Paper" (1994) and briefly starred as part of the main cast of the short-lived sitcom "Built to Last" (NBC, 1997). He appeared in an episode of "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010) in 1999 and guest starred for an episode of "That's So Raven" (Disney Channel, 2003-07) in 2007, as well as appearing on "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004-08) the same year. Owens made two notable appearances on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (FX, 2005- ) as himself, albeit an exaggerated version of himself that pretended to be Donovan McNabb, Tiger Woods, and Don Cheadle. He played Prince Escalus in a 2014 stage production of "Romeo & Juliet," starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad. Owens landing a recurring role as Gerald on "Divorce" (HBO, 2016- ) for its first season, and made episodic appearances on "Blue Bloods" (CBS, 2010- ), "Lucifer" (Fox, 2016- ), and "The Blacklist" (NBC, 2013- ) in 2017. He appeared in an episode of "Elementary" (CBS, 2012- ) in 2018, but much media attention was devoted to Owens in that year due to viral images of him working at a Trader Joe's in New Jersey. Owens, who had to take the job due to the instability of acting jobs, said he felt he was the victim of job shaming, and gained many supporters. Tyler Perry offered him a part on the former's show "The Haves and the Have Nots" (Oprah Winfrey Network, 2013- ), which Owens accepted.