In the 1970s, the sassy neighbor on Good Times was a comedic character that often stole moments on the show. Ja’Net DuBois portrayed the character of Willona Woods on the classic television program and while that role was a standout among fans, DuBois has had a successful decadeslong career in the entertainment industry.
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On Tuesday (February 18), it was shared that DuBois had passed away. According to multiple reports, police believe that her death was natural causes and have no current plans to investigate. Janet Jackson, who played the role of Willona Woods’s adopted daughter Penny on Good Times, shared a touching tribute on Instagram to her television mother.
“I am so very saddened to hear my longtime friend Ja’Net DuBois has passed away,” Jackson penned in a caption of herself with DuBois. “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. ?.”
The late actress’s resumé includes appearances in Beverly Hills, 90210, A Different World, Sister Sister, Sanford and Son, The Love Boat, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Martin, Moesha, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, The Steve Harvey Show, and the series The PJs which earned her two Primetime Emmy Awards in 1999 and 2001. Fans will also remember her as the voice behind the “Movin’ On Up” theme song for The Jeffersons.
We send our deepest condeolences to Ja’Net DuBois’s loved ones. Read through a few tributes below.