Ja’Net DuBois, a longtime actress most known for her role as Wilona Woods on the popular sitcom Good Times, has died. News of her passing on Tuesday (Feb. 18) began trending across social media with fans mourning the loss.
DuBois, born Jeannette Dubois on August 5, 1945, according to IMDB, was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. and began her career as a Broadway stage actress alongside Sammy Davis Jr. and Louis Gossett Jr. in the production Golden Boy. In the late 1960s, DuBois made inroads as a television actress, starring in shows like A Man Called Adam and in the made-for-TV film, J.T.
The early 1970s gave way to a series of small roles, including starring in one episode of Sanford and Son, but it would be her role as the sassy and quick-witted know-it-all Wilona Woods that cemented her status as a star. From 1974 to 1979, DuBois was a notable member of the Good Times cast alongside Esther Rolle, John Amos, Jimmie Walker, Janet Jackson, and the other stars.
DuBois continued to work through the 1980s primarily in small television and television movie roles. In 1986, she made an appearance as a mother figure in Jackson’s “Control” video, a winking nod to the pair’s mother and daughter relationship on Good Times. DuBois remained a fixture on television screens through the 1990s as well and even reprised her role as Wilona Woods on The Wayans Brothers series in 1996.
For her work as the voice of Mrs. Avery on the animated series The PJs, DuBois won two Primetime Emmy Awards in 1999 and 2001. DuBois’ last role was 2016’s She’s Got A Plan.
DuBois was also a gifted singer and songwriter who composed and performed the theme song for the 1970s sitcom The Jeffersons.
Across Twitter, fans have shared their loving thoughts and condolences for DuBois and we’ve collected some of those for viewing below.
Rest Powerfully in Peace, Ja’Net DuBois.