Ja’Net Dubois of ‘Good Times’ remembered. Everybody’s favorite neighbor, Ms. Dubois has died.
Ja’Net Dubois Leaves A Legacy That Will Last For Years To Come
I remember being a little girl, watching ‘Good Times’ with my family. Now, my grandkids are laughing at the same jokes and characters that gave us so much joy more than 40 years ago.
Ms. Ja’Net Dubois has left us with a legacy to keep us smiling for years to come. Best known as Willona Woods, the sassy neighbor of the beloved Evans family, she was Florida’s best friend, Thelma’s confidante and little Penny’s mama.
Although ‘Good Times’ aired from 1974 to 1979, we can still catch up with Willona and the crew in re-runs almost on a daily basis. The actress, singer, songwriter and dancer is also well known for her voice.
Also in syndication, we can hear her voice singing the inspirational ‘Movin’ On Up,’ (theme song for another favorite black sitcom, ‘The Jefferson’s’) any given day. She not only sang it, she also co-wrote it.
Tributes Pour In For Ms. Dubois
Upon hearing the news, superstar Janet Jackson (who played her adopted daughter Penny on ‘Good Times’) expressed her feelings on the passing of her friend on Instagram –
Janet Jackson On Her Longtime Friend
I am so very saddened to hear my longtime friend Ja’Net Dubois has passed away. I saw first hand how she broke stereotypes and changed the landscape for Black women in entertainment.
I’m grateful in recent years I had a chance to see her and create more lasting memories. I pray for comfort for all her family and friends. Thank you Ja’Net, I’ll miss you. 🖤
Incidently, Ms. Dubois appeared in Janet Jackson’s 1987 ‘Control’ music video as her mother.
Norman Lear, who executive produced ‘Good Times’ also praised the ‘light’ that Ms. Dubois brought to the set of the popular sitcom.
BerNadette Stanis On Her Friend and Former Co-Star
Along with a video tribute added to social media by her friend and former co-star, BerNadette Stanis (who played Thelma Evans on ‘Good Times’) captioned her post –
“Rest In Peace Ja’Net DuBois. We had so many wonderful memories on Good Times,”
Outside of ‘Good Times’
Outside of ‘Good Times’ some of the projects Ja’Net Dubois appeared in are –
- And Still I Rise (a play written and directed by Maya Angelou) (1992)
- I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988)
- Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
- The Steve Harvey Show
- A Different World
- The Wayans Bros.
- Sandford and Son
- The Pj’s (voice of Mrs. Florence Avery)
- Shaft, and many more
During the 1980s, DuBois operated the Ja’net DuBois Academy of Theater Arts and Sciences, a performing-arts school for teenagers in Long Island, New York, according to Wikipedia.
Additionally, along with Danny Glover and Ayuko Babu, she co-founded the Pan African Film & Arts Festival in Los Angeles in 1992.
Ja’Net Debois died of natural causes, peacefully at her home in Glendale, California on February 17, 2020. She had 4 children, one of which preceded her in death.
We’re gonna miss you, Ms. Dubois. Rest in Heavenly Peace.
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