Ja’Net DuBois, the revered Emmy-winning actress known for her roles on Good Times, The PJ’s and more, died on Tuesday (Feb. 18). She was 74.
DuBois passed away unexpectedly in her sleep, TMZ reports. She was reportedly found inside her Glendale, Calif. home. Further details surrounding DuBois’ sudden death are unknown.
A multi-talented singer-songwriter, actress and dancer, DuBois made a name for herself as the next door neighbor, Willona Woods, on Good Times where she starred alongside John Amos, Esther Rolle, Ralph Carter, Bernnadette Stanis, Jimmie Walker, Johnny Brown, and Janet Jackson. DuBois also composed and sang the “Movin’ on Up” theme song for The Jeffersons.
Jackson posted a tribute to DuBois on Instagram that read in part, “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.”
Raised in Amityville, N.Y., DuBois began her acting career in the theater in the 1950s. She appeared in the Broadway play Golden Boy with Sammy Davis Jr. and Louis Gossett Jr., and A Raisin in the Sun. She went on to land various TV roles including guest spots on Sanford and Son and Shaft, prior to joining the cast of Good Times from 1974 until 1979.
DuBois won back-to-back Emmy awards in 1999 and 2000, for her voiceover work on The PJ’s. Her acting credits include Roots: The Next Generation, The Wayans Bros., Basic Instinct, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, I’m Gonna Get You Sucka, and Tropic Thunder.
DuBois is survived by her three children.
View this post on Instagram
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. 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. 🖤