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Dubois was often cast as characters older than her true age; when Good Times premiered in 1974, Dubois was 28, just two years older than Jimmie Walker. The character of Willona was supposed to be close in age to that portrayed by Esther Rolle, who was 53 at the time. According to most sources, Rolle enjoyed working with Dubois, despite the age difference. After John Amos was fired from the show, with his character James Evans being killed off, Rolle disagreed with the show's new direction, and left the show herself. Her departure made Dubois the de facto star of the series, alongside Walker.
Like her late mentor Esther Rolle, Dubois is a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority. In 2000, in her hometown of Amityville, New York, she was honored as the grand marshal for the North Amityville Community Parade and Festival Day.