Known professionally as Ja’net DuBois, Jeannette Dubois, an American actress, singer-songwriter and dancer, has passed away unexpectedly in her sleep, according to her family. She was 74.
The Good Times actress was found dead in her home in Glendale, California on Tuesday, her family told TMZ.
She was best known for playing the supporting role of Willona Woods in Good Times. Her status as Willona was upgraded to lead in the fifth season (1977-78) after Esther Rolle exited the show for some time.
Apart from singing and acting, she was particularly known for co-writing and performing the theme song for comedy “The Jeffersons.”
After Good Times, Dubois played cameos in The Love Boat, The Facts of Life, Houston Knights, A Different World, and Beverly Hills, 90210.
Comedian and actor Flex Alexander, who worked with DuBois on One on One said, “You should have been given way more flowers while you were here, you helped pave the way for African American Actresses, you will be missed.”
Loni Love, co-host of The Real, tweeted, “What a joy to have met Ja’Net Dubois, who became famous playing the role of Willona Woods on the hit 70s sitcom Good Times… Thank you for keeping this latch key kid entertained… condolences to her children #rip.”
Comedian DL Hughley tweeted, “Sadly, we have lost another legend. #RIP to the lovely #JanetDubois. Her smile and laugh were infectious.” DuBois was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Amityville, New York, on Long Island. She had at least three children – Rani DuBois, Yovanne DuBois, and Raj Kristo Gupta, who died of cancer in 1987 at age 36.