Janet Jackson posted a loving tribute to her Good Times co-star Ja’Net DuBois upon news of her death.
DuBois, who played fun-loving neighbor Wilona Woodson on the Norman Lear show, passed away peacefully on Feb. 17 while sleeping at her Glendale home. Jackson played her adopted daughter, Penny on Good Times.
“I saw firsthand how she broke stereotypes and changed the landscape for Black women in entertainment,” Jackson captioned her Instagram post, which was accompanied by a photo of the two stars. “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.”
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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. 🖤
DuBois also appeared on TV shows such as Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, Moesha, and Home Improvement and sang the “Movin’ On Up” theme song for the 70s sitcom The Jeffersons.
Kesha Fields, DuBois’ youngest daughter, told CNN that her mama was true to the sassy and fun character she portrayed on Good Times.
“If you got a chance to know her and lived through the words of her song or just watched her contagious laughing spirit, every time she walked through the door on the set of ‘Good Times,’ that was her. She was effortlessly portraying a character because that was her spirit,” Fields told CNN.
In addition to TV shows, DuBois also starred in quite a few movies over the life of her television and film acting career, including I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Tropic Thunder, and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. She started out doing Broadway plays, including Golden Boy also starring Sammy Davis Jr. and Louis Gossett Jr. and A Raisin In The Sun.
Dubois was 74 and is survived by two daughters and a son.