The actor who played Elvin in The Cosby Show is now working as a cashier at Trader Joeís, exclusive photos reveal. See story NYCOSBY. A shopper spotted Geoffrey Owens, 57, sitting behind a till at the discount store in Clifton, New Jersey, where staff earn around $11 an hour.  Wearing an ID badge bearing his name, the former star wore a Trader Joeís t-shirt with stain marks on the front as he weighed a bag of potatoes. Karma Lawrence, 50, was grocery shopping with her wife, security manager Yanelle, 40, when she saw Owens at around 7.30pm on Saturday and snapped some photos. The medical secretary, from Clifton, said: ìI was just in Trader Joeís and I said to my wife, I said, ëíWait a minute, thatís the guy from The Cosby Show.í ìShe looked at him and said, ëIt looks like him. Heís a little heavier.íëI pulled up a site on the internet to look at a picture of him and said, ëThat is him.í ìI have never seen him at Trader Joeís before. I was getting a bunch of groceries and he wasnít really looking at anybody, but he said, ëHave a nice day.í ìHe looked bloated and fat and unhappy. I guess with the whole Cosby thingÖî Owens played Elvin Tibideaux, the husband of Sondra Huxtable, on the final five seasons of NBC sitcom The Cosby Show, between 1985 and 1992.
'Cosby Show' actor: 'Honor the dignity of work'
01:44 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Nicki Minaj wants to help Geoffrey Owens out financially.

Owens, who is best known for playing Elvin Tibideaux on “The Cosby Show” from 1985 to 1992, has been in the headlines recently for being “job shamed” after photos of him bagging groceries at a New Jersey Trader Joe’s were first published by the Daily Mail.

The actor told CNN he took the position in part because “In the past 26 years, I have hardly ever had an acting job that lasted more than 10 weeks.”

“I got to the point that I needed to take a job to pay my bills, to support my family, it was basically that,” said Owens, who resigned from Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago. “I wanted a job that had some flexibility, so that if I did stay in (the) entertainment industry, if I could continue to audition and do jobs if I could, and Trader Joe’s provided that.”

Geoffrey Owens’ message to job-shamers: Honor the ‘dignity of work’

Minaj said on her Beats 1 “Queen Radio” show Wednesday that she plans on donating $25,000 to the actor who has also received support from fans and other celebrities as well as an offer of work from uber-producer Tyler Perry since the story went public.

On Thursday the rapper talked to “Entertainment Tonight” about why she wants to help.

“Some people are on the internet and seeking attention, and he’s just the antithesis of that,” Minaj said. “So I felt like, ‘Oh my God, could you imagine?’ “

She said she knows what it feels like to have to work a job outside of the industry and she had a message for Owens.

“Tell him that I’m going to have my team contact him because I hope he doesn’t take it the wrong way,” she said. “I just want to help him in any way I can.”

CNN has reached out to reps for Owens.

CNN’s Chloe Melas contributed to this report