People of a certain age are remembering the star of 1970’s sitcom Good Times, Ja’Net DuBois.
The beloved award-winning actor was cast as the scene-stealing Willona Woods on the iconic TV series. TMZ reported that Ms. DuBois was found dead on Tuesday. She was 74 years old. She is survived by her three children.
According to the news reports, Ms. DuBois passed away in her sleep in Glendale, California, with the mention that she appeared to be in good health.
DuBois’ career included music, TV, and movies
An Emmy award-winner for her voiceover work, DuBois was cast as stylish neighbor Willona on Good Times. Her memorable entrances were a big part of fans’ remembrances on social media.
But her career spanned far more than just this memorable TV role. She was also a gifted singer and songwriter. DuBois sang the Movin’ on Up theme song for The Jeffersons’ opening, a song that she also wrote.
A Broadway star too, DuBois also had notable film credits including I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Tropic Thunder, and more.
Network TV Land, which has aired reruns of Good Times, posted a tribute to the actress on Tuesday afternoon:
“TV Land remembers ‘Good Times’ star Ja’net Dubois. In addition to being the Evans family’s lovable neighbor, Willona, Dubois composed and sang ‘Movin’ on Up’ the iconic theme song for ‘The Jeffersons.’ She was 74 and will be missed.”
TV Land remembers “Good Times” star Ja’net Dubois. In addition to being the Evans family’s lovable neighbor, Willona, Dubois composed and sang “Movin’ on Up” the iconic theme song for “The Jeffersons.” She was 74 and will be missed.
?: @GettyImages pic.twitter.com/j1TdcuA0q9
— TV Land (@tvland) February 18, 2020
Fans, celebrities, and networks pay tribute to Ja’Net DuBois
Many people have been remembering the late Ja’Net Dubois since the news of her passing. Singer Janet Jackson used her Instagram to post a sweet tribute, saying:
“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,” Jackson wrote in her caption.
“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.”
Actress BernNadette Stanis played Thelma on Good Times. She posted an Instagram video of herself in which she spoke of her fondest memory of her late co-star.
Norman Lear, the executive producer for Good Times, also paid tribute to the late actress with a post. He said “DuBois was all light and will be missed” in part of his caption.
— Norman Lear (@TheNormanLear) February 19, 2020
Actress Viola Davis also shared a post in which she called it “a pleasure” to have met DuBois when she did. Davis’ caption continued, “You shaped so much of the best memories of my childhood! God bless you, Ja’net DuBois! RIP”
Oh man!!! Just saw you! What a pleasure it was to meet you. You shaped so much of the best memories of my childhood! God bless you, Ja’net DuBois! RIP? pic.twitter.com/tiEGNn9dVO
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) February 19, 2020
Other reports and tributes arrived from networks, writers, and fans regarding the late singer and actress. They included Twitter posts from ABC, Dave Zirin, Marc Berman, and Will Harris.
Ja'Net DuBois, actress who played Willona Woods on the TV classic "Good Times" and composed and sang the theme song for "The Jeffersons," has died at the age of 74. https://t.co/C6unw9gyg6 pic.twitter.com/wKQJI7Mkw0
— ABC News (@ABC) February 19, 2020
Rest In Peace. Ms. DuBois also sang the iconic Jefferson’s theme song and had a memorable role in I’m Gonna Get You Sucka. And check this: “In 1992, DuBois, Danny Glover and Ayuko Babu co-founded the Pan African Film & Arts Festival in Los Angeles” https://t.co/1TSCFZYfco
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) February 18, 2020
She was Dy-No-Mite! RIP Ja'net DuBoishttps://t.co/9I0RmE2u0R
— Marc Berman (@MarcBermanMrTV) February 19, 2020
Here's a factoid I didn't know about Ja'net Dubois: she provided backing vocals (and moaning sounds) to this track from Rick James' STREET SONGS. https://t.co/9jKovoYL8P
— Will Harris (@NonStopPop) February 19, 2020
DuBois appeared on the sitcom Good Times from 1974 through 1979. See a YouTube video clip below featuring a tribute to the late Ja’net DuBois in her Good Times role.