ENTERTAINMENT

Ja’net DuBois, Star Of ‘Good Times,’ Dead At 74

The actor also sang the iconic theme song "Movin' On Up" for another '70s sitcom, "The Jeffersons."

Ja’net DuBois, a singer and actor who starred in the 1970s sitcom “Good Times,” was found dead in her home in Glendale, California. She was 74.

DuBois was best known for her role as Willona Woods in CBS’ “Good Times,” but she also composed and sang “Movin’ On Up,” the iconic theme song for another popular sitcom of the time, “The Jeffersons.”

The "Good Times" cast, shown in 1977, included, in front, John Amos, left, and Jimmie Walker, and in the back row from left,
The "Good Times" cast, shown in 1977, included, in front, John Amos, left, and Jimmie Walker, and in the back row from left, Ralph Carter, Bern Nadette Stanis, Ja'net DuBois and Esther Rolle.

A spokesperson for the Glendale Police Department confirmed to HuffPost that officers had found a woman named Ja’net DuBois deceased in a Glendale home but would not comment on further details.

Police received reports of DuBois’s death late Monday night, The Associated Press reported Tuesday night. Earlier reports, including this one, said that DuBois was found dead on Tuesday.

Police Sgt. Dan Stubbs told AP that she appeared to have died of natural causes.

Ja'net Du Bois attends the Pan African Film & Arts Festival premiere of "Blackbird" on Feb. 16, 2014, in Los Angeles.
Ja'net Du Bois attends the Pan African Film & Arts Festival premiere of "Blackbird" on Feb. 16, 2014, in Los Angeles.

In her most notable role in “Good Times,” DuBois played Woods, the sassy neighbor and close friends of the Evans family, who lived in government housing in Chicago. DuBois, a prolific comedic actress, was a mainstay on the show for all six of its seasons, from 1974 to 1979.

“She used to keep us laughing all the time,” Bern Nadette Stanis, DuBois’s co-star on the show, told AP. “She was very, very talented. If she wasn’t singing ... she was creating a character to make us laugh.”

In its last two seasons, DuBois starred alongside then-budding singer Janet Jackson, who played Penny Gordon Woods. DuBois’s Woods adopted Penny after learning that she was being abused by her biological mother.

DuBois appeared in numerous TV shows and films over the course of five decades, according to her credits on IMDb.

She’s starred and made appearances in shows including “The Wayans Bros.,” “Home Improvement,” “The Steve Harvey Show,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.”

She’s also voiced a character in the Nickelodeon series “As Told by Ginger” and starred in Eddie Murphey’s animated series “The PJs” for three seasons.

DuBois’s role in “The PJs” won her two Emmys for outstanding voice-over performance.

Celebrities and influential figures also mourned the actor’s death late Tuesday.

Stanis recalled a fond memory of DuBois writing “Movin’ On Up” for “The Jeffersons” in a filmed statement posted to Instagram.

“Rest in peace, Ja’net Dubois,” she said. “We had so many wonderful memories on ‘Good Times.’”

Comedian Kathy Griffin said DuBois was a “true inspiration to future sidekicks, sassy neighbors, and comedic ESSENTIAL support actors everywhere.” 

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) described the actor as a “trailblazer.”

HuffPost

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