Actress Ja’net DuBois, probably best known for her time on the show “Good Times,” has died at the age of 74.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, on Aug. 5, 1945, DuBois was living in Glendale, California, at the time of her death. While it is unclear who found her, sources told TMZ that she “died unexpectedly in her sleep.”
An actress on the stage, in movies and on television, as well as a singer, songwriter and painter, DuBois had a hand in a variety of mediums. According to IMDb, she started her career on Broadway alongside other big names like Sammy Davis Jr.
She wrote and sang “Movin’ On Up,” which many will recognize as the theme song for “The Jeffersons,” and she also did some voiceover work in addition to her many television and film roles.
DuBois won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance, one in 1999 and one in 2001 for her work on “The PJs,” an animated TV show where she played a character named “Mrs. Avery.”
In 1992, she co-founded the PAFF (Pan African Film Festival), which, according to its Facebook page, is “a non-profit corporation dedicated to the promotion of cultural and racial tolerance and understanding through the exhibition of film, art and creative expression.”
The arts were important in her life, and she also helped found an after-school program and a performing arts school. According to IMDb, “she is a community activist whose DuBois Care Foundation’s mission is to empower youth by supporting afterschool programs.”
Since DuBois had no known serious health conditions, her death comes as a surprise to many. She’d been spotted out and about, even attending a Hollywood event recently.
DuBois is survived by three of her children: Yovanne DuBois, Rani DuBois and Burghardt DuBois.
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🌹 pic.twitter.com/YzBcuE73nv
— Holly Robinson Peete (@hollyrpeete) February 18, 2020
“Devastated to hear of the sudden passing of the iconic Ja’Net Dubois,” she wrote. “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.”
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