Good Times star Ja'net Dubois has died. According to TMZ, the actress was found dead in her Glendale, California home. She apparently died in her sleep. The actress wasn't complaining about specific ailments and had recently made a public appearance.
According to The AP, Dubois appears to have died of natural causes. There is no ongoing investigation into her death.
Dubois is known for her role as Willona Woods on Good Times. Born in Brooklyn, New York, DuBois began her career on Broadway before transitioning into television. In addition to her role in Good Times, Dubois appeared in a number of TV series, including The Love Boat, The Facts of Life, Beverly Hills, 90210, ER and The PJs as Mrs. Avery. She is alsp known for singing and co-writing the theme song “Movin' On Up” for The Jeffersons. DuBois’ was honored with a TV Land Impact Icon Award for Good Times in 2006 and an Emmy Award for outstanding voice-over performance for The PJs.
DuBois is survived by her three children Rani, Yovanne and Burghardt DuBois. According to Entertainment Weekly, her son Raj Kristo Gupta died in 1987 after a three-year battle with cancer.
DuBois’ friend and former Good Times costar Bernadette Stanis told the AP that she found out about her friend's death from her daughter. She said, “She used to keep us laughing all the time. She was very, very talented. If she wasn’t singing… she was creating a character to make us laugh.”
Janet Jackson wrote 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. 🖤.”
Holly Robinson-Pete wrote, “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 Hanging with Mr. Cooper. I followed her around like a puppy dog. She shared so much wisdom. I loved and will miss her dearly.”
Loni Love wrote, “What a joy to have met Ja’Net Dubois, who became famous playing the role of Willona Woods on the hit 70s sitcom Good Times… Thank you for keeping this latch key kid entertained… condolences to her children #rip.”