Ja'net Dubois

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Ja'net Dubois
Good Times 1976.JPG
Dubois as Willona Woods with her boyfriend (played by J.A. Preston) on Good Times (1975)
Born Jeannette Dubois
(1945-08-05) August 5, 1945 (age 71)
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1966–present
Known for Willona Woods (Good Times)
Children 3

Jeannette "Ja'net" Dubois (/ɑːnˈ djbwˈɑː/; born August 5, 1945) is an American actress and singer. Dubois is best known for her portrayal of Willona Woods on the CBS sitcom Good Times which originally aired from 1974 to 1979. She also co–wrote and sang the theme song of the sitcom, The Jeffersons (1975–85).[1]

Life and early career[edit]

Jeannette Dubois was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her early acting credits include the 1969 TV movie J.T. and the long-running television soap opera Love of Life. In 1970, Dubois appeared as Vera in the film Diary of a Mad Housewife.[2]


Norman Lear saw Dubois in a play at the Mark Taper Forum, which led to her being cast in Good Times.[3]

She 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.[4] 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..[2]


Dubois has three children: Rani, Yovanne and Burghadt.[5] Dubois is a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority.

In 2000, she was honored as the grand marshal for the North Amityville Community Parade and Festival Day in Amityville, New York.[6]

Film and television[edit]

Year(s) Title Role
1966 A Man Called Adam Martha
1969 J.T. Rodeen Gamble
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
1986 Stranded Bettina
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
1995 Magic Island Lucretia
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
1998 Hard Time Lefty
1999 Waterproof Viola Battle
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
2004 Waterproof Viola Battle
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

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Film Result
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[7]
2001 Primetime Emmy Outstanding Voice-Over Performance The PJs Won
2006 TV Land Image Award Good Times Won[8]


  1. ^ "TV Actress Ja'Net Dubois To Appear On 'Arsenio'". 82 (6). Jet. June 1, 1992: 60. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Ja'net Dubois at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ McCann, Bob. Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television. McFarland & Company. p. 103-04. ISBN 0786458046. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Actor Clifton Davis Stars in Maya Angelou's New Musical". 82 (20). Jet. September 7, 1992: 60. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Adrienne Brown Mourned, After Mysterious Death Following Liposuction Surgery". 89 (11). Jet. January 29, 1996: 58. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  6. ^ "A Grand Lady as a Grand Marshal". July 31, 2000. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Ja'Net Dubois And Judith Jamison Win Primetime Emmy Awards". Jet. September 20, 1999: 34. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  8. ^ Christian, Margena A. (January 28, 2008). "The Cast of 'Good Times'?". 113 (3). Jet: 31. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 

External links[edit]