The actor also sang the iconic theme song “Movin’ On Up” for another ‘70s sitcom, “The Jeffersons.”
BY Carla Herreria, Huffington Post
Ja’net DuBois, a singer and actor who starred in the 1970s sitcom “Good Times,” was found dead in her home in Glendale, California. She was 74.
DuBois was best known for her role as Willona Woods in CBS’ “Good Times,” but she also composed and sang “Movin’ On Up,” the iconic theme song for another popular sitcom of the time, “The Jeffersons.”
A spokesperson for the Glendale Police Department confirmed to HuffPost that officers had found a woman named Ja’net DuBois deceased in a Glendale home but would not comment on further details.
Police received reports of DuBois’s death late Monday night, The Associated Press reported Tuesday night. Earlier reports, including this one, said that DuBois was found dead on Tuesday.
Police Sgt. Dan Stubbs told AP that she appeared to have died of natural causes.
In her most notable role in “Good Times,” DuBois played Woods, the sassy neighbor and close friends of the Evans family, who lived in government housing in Chicago. DuBois, a prolific comedic actress, was a mainstay on the show for all six of its seasons, from 1974 to 1979.
“She used to keep us laughing all the time,” Bern Nadette Stanis, DuBois’s co-star on the show, told AP. “She was very, very talented. If she wasn’t singing … she was creating a character to make us laugh.”
In its last two seasons, DuBois starred alongside then-budding singer Janet Jackson, who played Penny Gordon Woods. DuBois’s Woods adopted Penny after learning that she was being abused by her biological mother.
DuBois appeared in numerous TV shows and films over the course of five decades, according to her credits on IMDb.
She’s starred and made appearances in shows including “The Wayans Bros.,” “Home Improvement,” “The Steve Harvey Show,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.”
She’s also voiced a character in the Nickelodeon series “As Told by Ginger” and starred in Eddie Murphey’s animated series “The PJs” for three seasons.
DuBois’s role in “The PJs” won her two Emmys for outstanding voice-over performance.
Celebrities and influential figures also mourned the actor’s death late Tuesday.
Stanis recalled a fond memory of DuBois writing “Movin’ On Up” for “The Jeffersons” in a filmed statement posted to Instagram.
“Rest in peace, Ja’net Dubois,” she said. “We had so many wonderful memories on ‘Good Times.’”
Comedian Kathy Griffin said DuBois was a “true inspiration to future sidekicks, sassy neighbors, and comedic ESSENTIAL support actors everywhere.”
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) described the actor as a “trailblazer.”
Ms Ja’net DuBois was a true inspiration to future sidekicks, sassy neighbors, and comedic ESSENTIAL support actors everywhere. I mean, who didn’t wanna be Willona??? The best👑 https://t.co/IGSKLkHccm
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) February 19, 2020
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
Although my heart is heavy — my thoughts and prayers are with the families of Ja’Net Dubois & Esther Scott. These phenomenal women were actresses, songstresses, and trailblazers in their own right. May they both Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/DSW1HOF15O
— Sheila Jackson Lee (@JacksonLeeTX18) February 19, 2020
This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post.