British actor Joseph Marcell was born on August 18, 1948 in St. Lucia, on the Caribbean Sea. Though his family expected him to find work as an electrical engineer, he chose to pursue a career in acting and performing, training at the prestigious Central School for Speech and Drama. He went on to join the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing onstage in classic productions such as Othello, Macbeth, and Julius Caesar. He has also appeared in television series such as Brothers & Sisters, Living Single, The Bold & The Beautiful, and In The House. Marcell has acted in the films We Three and Cry Freedom.
Geoffrey Barbara Butler is portrayed by Joseph Marcell in the classic NBC television comedy series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He studied at Oxford University and had a long career of working for British aristocrats, and was also an Olympic runner prior to being hired by the Banks family. However, he escaped from his homeland in shame after being caught cheating in a race and getting slapped by the Queen of England. He has served as a butler for the band Led Zeppelin, as well as a butler and sparring partner for Chuck Norris. He provides a lot of sardonic humor, commenting dryly on everything that’s wrong with the family.
(Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)
-Geoffrey (mockingly, after Philip makes an offer for a small raise): Thank you, sir. And, with my new-found wealth, I shall be able to treat myself to a Happy Meal!
-Vivian: Geoffrey will you go get Carlton?
-Geoffrey: Yes Ma'am. (As he's walking up the stairs out loud) Run Geoffrey. Fetch Geoffrey. I suppose next you want me to catch a frisbee in my teeth.
-Vivian: It hasn't been that long since we made love, has it?
-Geoffrey: Five months this Tuesday. (Vivian and Philip stare at him and he shrugs) Thin walls.
-Phil: Geoffrey, go fetch me my tools.
-Geoffrey: You mean, your knife and fork?
-Phil:This will take care of that cricket.
-Geoffrey:Sir,thats air freshner.
-Phil:Well,its all we have.It might work.
-Geoffrey:Yes,perhaps the scent of sea breeze will recall some painful memories for him and he'll commit suicide.
-Vivian: That man is on thin ice!
-Geoffrey: I'll alert the fish.