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Actress and Singer Ja'Net DuBois Passes Away at Age 74

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By Brittany Sims

The world has lost another legend. Ja'Net Dubois (Jeannette DuBois), best known for playing Willona Woods on the sitcom, "Good Times," passed away today at the age of 74. She has moved a deluxe apartment in the sky. Reportedly, she unexpectedly died in her sleep after she was found unresponsive in her home in Glendale, CA, according to TMZ. She was an actress, singer, songwriter, and dancer. At this time, it is unclear who found her body. According to those close to her, she was in good health.

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Her character on "Good Times" was known for her sassy demeanor, witty comebacks, and adopting a daughter named Penny, played by singer Janet Jackson. DuBois was the next-door neighbor and friend of the Evans family.

In addition to "Good Times," DuBois starred in many shows and films including Charlies Angels" Full Throttle, Sanford and Sons, The Wayans Bros., Love of Life, and more.

She was the third actress from that sitcom to pass away after Albert Reed (Alderman Fred Davis) and Esther Rolle (Florida Evans).


In addition to being an actress, DuBois also sang. Most notably, she co-wrote, composed, and sang "Movin' On Up" from the iconic show, The Jeffersons, which aired from 1975 to 1985.

Besides the infamous show tune, DuBois released two albums: "Queen of the Highway" in 1980 and "Hidden Treasure" in 2007.

She mostly sang jazz music and is known for her legendary voice. DuBois starred in co-star Janet Jackson's 1987 video for "Control." She, again, played her mother.

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Celebrities have taken to social media to express their sympathy, shock, and grief over her passing. Holly Robinson Pete, Her co-star in *Hanging With Mr. Cooper" posted an emotional tribute on Twitter.

"Devastated to hear of the sudden passing of the iconic Ja'Net Dubois 💔 We all cherished her as the beloved Willona on #GoodTimes. Got to work with her on Hangin With Mr. Cooper. I followed her around like a puppy dog. She shared so much wisdom. I loved and will miss her dearly," she wrote.

Gettyimages | Leon Bennett

Viola Davis, who played Mrs. Evans in the "Live from a Studio Audience: Good Times" posted a beautiful photo and tribute to the actress.

She posted, "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💔."

DuBois was seen out a few weeks ago at a fan event in Hollywood, so many people are shocked to hear of her death.

Gettyimages | Jason Merritt/TERM

DuBois started off on Broadway where she was cast in a number of critically acclaimed plays, including "Golden Boy" with Sammy Davis Jr. and Louis Gossett Jr. and also, “A Raisin In The Sun."

She won numerous awards during her life, including two Emmy Awards for her voiceover on The PJS, an NAACP Image Award, and a TV Land Award.

DuBois is survived by her three children. Thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. May she rest in peace.

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