Last month, Good Times actress Ja’net Dubois passed away in her sleep at the age of 74. Now, her death certificate has revealed that her biological father was legendary jazz musician Cab Calloway.
According to the document obtained by TMZ earlier this week, Calloway is listed as the star’s secret parent. He died in 1994.
Up until now, Gordon Dubois was listed as her father in her online biographies, while Lillian Goudey is named as her mother. But her daughter Rani now explains that although Dubois was Goudey’s husband and “instrumental” in raising the actress, they were never related by blood.
Meanwhile, Calloway, the American bandleader, and singer famous for his association with the world-famous Cotton Club in Harlem, was always believed to be her biological father. His estate was not so certain.
“While we have a great appreciation for Ja’Net DuBois’ long and successful career, the Calloway Estate has nothing to add to this single document that has numerous mistakes and no verification,” the estate told TMZ.
An unexpected autopsy report
On February 18th, the body of the actress was discovered in her Glendale, CA home. Although, she’d appeared in good health while attending a fan event in Hollywood a couple of weeks earlier and, “hadn’t complained of any specific ailments recently.”
Her family was understandably stunned when an autopsy revealed she’d been suffering from peripheral vascular disease and chronic kidney disease for years. Hypertension was also confirmed to be a contributing factor to her death.
Dubois is best known for playing the Evans family’s sassy neighbor Willona Woods on the classic Black ’70s TV sitcom Good Times. In addition to playing Willona, behind the scenes she also composed and sang the theme song, “Movin’ On Up” for another iconic show, The Jeffersons.
She appeared in “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka”, “Tropic Thunder” and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” over the years. Her acting career began on Broadway, where she was cast in a number of plays including “Golden Boy” with Sammy Davis Jr. and Louis Gossett Jr. — plus “A Raisin In The Sun.”
Dubois is survived by her two daughters and a son. The mother-of-three was cremated and “some of her ashes were scattered at sea” while the rest left with her family.