Dubois as Willona Woods with her boyfriend (played by J.A. Preston) on Good Times circa 1976.
August 5, 1938 or
August 5, 1945
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Known for||Willona Woods – Good Times|
Jeannette Dubois (/ /; born August 5, 1938 or August 5, 1945) (sources differ), known professionally as Ja'net Dubois, is an American actress, singer–songwriter and dancer. DuBois is best known for her portrayal of Willona Woods on the CBS sitcom Good Times which originally aired from 1974 to 1979. She additionally co–wrote and sang the theme song of the sitcom The Jeffersons which originally aired from 1975 until 1985.
Early life and career
Born Jeannette Dubois in either Brooklyn, New York, or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (sources differ), DuBois began her acting career in theater stage during the early 1960s, appearing in plays such as "Golden Boy" alongside Sammy Davis Jr. and Louis Gossett Jr., and "A Raisin in the Sun". Dubois' early television acting credits include the 1969 television movie J.T. and the long–television soap opera Love of Life. Her 1970-1972 role as Loretta Allen on that show made her the first African-American female as a regular cast-member on a daytime serial.' In 1970, Dubois appeared as Vera in the film Diary of a Mad Housewife.
Television producer Norman Lear saw Dubois in a Lanford Wilson play The Hot l Baltimore at the Mark Taper Forum, which led to her being cast in the 1974-1979 CBS comedy series Good Times. DuBois recorded the album Again, Ja'Net Dubois, on her Peanuts and Caviar label, in 1983. DuBois appeared in former Good Times co-star Janet Jackson's 1987 "Control" music video as her mother. In 1992, she co-starred alongside Clifton Davis in And I Still Rise, a play written and directed by Maya Angelou. Dubois won an CableACE Award for her work on the TV movie, Other Women's Children, based on the novel by Perri Klass, and she also two Emmy Awards for her voiceover work on the animated program The PJs (1999). She co-starred in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988) and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003), and on television in Moesha, The Steve Harvey Show, A Different World, and The Wayans Bros..
In 1995, Dubois won a CableAce award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the Lifetime movie "Other Women Children". In 2000, DuBois was grand marshal for the North Amityville Community Parade and Festival Day in Amityville, New York.
Dubois has had at least two children: Rani, and Raj Kristo Gupta, who died of cancer in 1987 at age 36. Her daughter Rani is also an actress who appeared on an episode of the 1970s sitcom What's Happening!!.
Film and television
|1966||A Man Called Adam||Martha|
|1970–72||Love of Life (unknown episodes)||Loretta Allen|
|1972||Sanford and Son (1 episode)||Juanita|
|1973||Five on the Black Hand Side||Stormy Monday|
|1973||Shaft (1 episode)||Diana Richie|
|1973||The Blue Knight||Celia Louise|
|1974–79||Good Times (133 episodes)||Willona Woods|
|1974||Kojak (1 episode)||Paula Thomas|
|1975||Caribe (1 episode)||Melinda Jameson|
|1977||A Piece of the Action||Nellie Bond|
|1979||Roots: The Next Generations||Sally Harvey|
|1980||The Love Boat (1 episode)||Evelyn Hopkins|
|1981||Hellinger's Law||Dottie Singer|
|1981||The Facts of Life (1 episode)||Ethel (Tootie's grandmother)|
|1981||The Sophisticated Gents||Onetha Wiggins|
|1983||The Tom Swift and Linda Craig Mystery Hour||Mrs. Gorman|
|1987||Kids Like These||Mrs. Page|
|1988||I'm Gonna Git You Sucka||Ma Bell|
|1989||Nearly Departed (1 episode)||Clerk|
|1990||Penny Ante: The Motion Picture||Aunt|
|1990||Heart Condition||Mrs. Stone|
|1990||New Attitude (1 episode)||Irma|
|1990||Doctor Doctor (1 episode)||Ella Wilkes|
|1990||Hammer, Slammer, & Slade||Joanne Wilson|
|1991||A Different World (1 episode)||Brenda Hanes|
|1991||True Colors (1 episode)||May Freeman|
|1991||Dream On (1 episode)||June|
|1992||Beverly Hills, 90210 (1 episode)||Arlene|
|1992-93||The Golden Palace (2 episodes)||Louise Wilson|
|1993||Harlan & Merleen||Maxine|
|1994||Sister, Sister (1 episode)||Mother O'Dantelle|
|1994||Hangin' with Mr. Cooper (1 episode)||Dorothy Cooper|
|1991/1995||Home Improvement (2 episodes)||Carol|
|1995||ER (1 episode)||Macy Chamberlain|
|1996||Sophie & the Moonhanger||Agnes|
|1996||Don't Look Back||Mrs. Lawson|
|1997||Moesha (1 episode)||Mrs. Moss|
|1997||Touched by an Angel (1 episode)||Esther Hamilton|
|1996–1998||The Wayans Bros. (10 episodes)||various roles|
|1995||Martin: All The Players Came||Herself|
|1998||Best Friends for Life||Katie Pegues|
|1999||Clueless (1 episode)||Mrs. Davenport|
|1999||Hard Time: Hostage Hotel||Lefty, Logan's Assistant|
|1999–2001||The PJs (42 episodes)||Mrs. Florence Avery|
|2000||The Steve Harvey Show (1 episode)||Delores|
|2000||Everybody Loves Raymond (1 episode)||Dottie|
|2000/2002||As Told by Ginger (2 episodes)||Mrs. Patterson|
|2003||Boomtown (1 episode)||Denise Smith|
|2003||One on One (1 episode)||Queen Esther|
|2003||Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle||Momma Bosley|
|2006||Crossing Jordan (1 episode)||Mrs. Jones|
|2007||Random! Cartoons (1 episode)||Mom|
|2007||Cold Case (1 episode)||Edna Johnson|
|2011||G.I. Joe: Renegades||Grams Hinton|
|2016||She's Got a Plan||Betty Angelo |
Awards and nominations
|1998||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Touched by an Angel||Nominated|
|1999||Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Voice-Over Performance||The PJs||Won|
|2001||Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Voice-Over Performance||The PJs||Won|
|2006||TV Land||Image Award||Good Times||Won|
- "Ja'Net Du Bois". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
- Berry, S. Torriano; Berry, Venise T. (2015). "DUBOIS, JA'NET (1945– )". Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema (2 ed.). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 142.
This native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania...
- "Ja'net DuBois Biography (1945?-)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
Born August 5, 1945 (some sources cite 1938), in Philadelphia, PA.
- "TV Actress Ja'Net Dubois To Appear On 'Arsenio'". 82 (6). Jet. June 1, 1992: 60. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
- McCann, Bob. Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television. McFarland & Company. pp. 103–04. ISBN 0786458046. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
- "Celebrity Beat — New York to Hollywood". Jet. May 16, 1983. p. 53.
- "Actor Clifton Davis Stars in Maya Angelou's New Musical". 82 (20). Jet. September 7, 1992: 60. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
- JET Magazine - Ja'net DuBois, Chris Rock win CableAce Awards - February 6, 1995
- "Newsmakers". July 31, 2000: 32.
- "Celebrities". Jet. March 24, 2003. p. 24.
- "Ja'net DuBois' Son Dies Of Cancer In New York". Jet. October 26, 1987. p. 61.
- Have you seen Ja'Net DuBois' daughter? - YouTube
- "Ja'Net Dubois And Judith Jamison Win Primetime Emmy Awards". Jet. September 20, 1999: 34. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- Christian, Margena A. (January 28, 2008). "The Cast of 'Good Times'?". 113 (3). Jet: 31. Retrieved 19 April 2015.