Ja'Net Dubois Is Survived by Her Grown-Up Daughter Rani Who Appeared in 'What's Happening'
Actress Ja'Net DuBois, best known as Willona Woods in "Good Times," recently passed away. One of her daughters, Rani, had a brief career in the entertainment industry.Kesha Gupta-Fields, one of the children of the late actress, confirmed that her mother passed away on February 17 at her home in Glendale, California. According to the family, Ja'Net was 74, but public reports show that she was older.
One of her children passed away from cancer in 1987.
JA'NET DUBOIS'S CAREER
Her life growing up was not easy, though, as her family had a hard time making ends meet. Ja'Net eventually moved from her home in Philadelphia to Brooklyn to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.
Thankfully, she landed acting gigs in many Broadway plays that made her popular enough to run a workshop in Amityville, New York.
Ja'net DuBois, who was best known for playing Willona Woods on 'Good Times,' was found dead at age 74 on Tuesday, according to reports https://t.co/BDMuUDlcka— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 18, 2020
Her career soon took her to Los Angeles, and from that point on, everything improved. In 1974, she was cast as Willona Woods, the gossip enthusiast and friend of the Evans family in "Good Times."
For her participation in the latter, the actress got two Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1999 and 2001. Those were not the only accolades she received, though.
In 2006, Ja'Net and the rest of the cast of "Good Times" got the Impact Icon Award from the TV Land Awards.
RIP 👑 Ja’Net DuBois. Thanks for all the everything. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/HyrlTFuHm1— Craig Seymour, storyteller (@craigspoplife) February 18, 2020
JA'NET DUBOIS' CHILDREN AND PARTNER
As per her romantic life, the late actress was known for being very private (even her real age has been a mystery). It is known, though, that she was in a relationship with Sajit Gupta.
Speaking of Rani, she was a promising actress in the mid-70s as she appeared in a few episodes of "Good Times" next to her mother. Apart from that, she took some other minor roles in "What's Happening!!"
Unfortunately, she didn't actively pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Her last appearance in front of the cameras was in 1979 as an extra in "What's Happening!!"
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I am so very saddened to hear my longtime friend Ja’Net DuBois has passed away. I saw first hand how she broke stereotypes and changed the landscape for Black women in entertainment. I’m grateful in recent years I had a chance to see her and create more lasting memories. I pray for comfort for all her family and friends. Thank you Ja’Net, I’ll miss you. 🖤
CELEBRITIES MOURNING JA'NET'S PASSING
Shortly after news of Ja'Net DuBois' death hit the internet, several people and celebrities took to social media to mourn her death. One of them was Janet Jackson.
The singer uploaded some photos showing her and Ja'Net throughout the years, and in the caption, she expressed her feelings toward her late friend.
Nobody made an entrance like Willona. Rest, Ja’Net Dubois.❤️ pic.twitter.com/6iieXh3dau— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) February 18, 2020
After pointing out that she felt sad to learn Ja'Net's passing, Janet claimed that she witnessed how the late actress broke stereotypes and "changed the landscape" for Black women in the industry.
The member of the Jackson family finished saying that she felt grateful that she would create more "lasting memories" with Ja'Net in recent years.
Oh man!!! Just saw you! What a pleasure it was to meet you. You shaped so much of the best memories of my childhood! God bless you, Ja’net DuBois! RIP💔 pic.twitter.com/tiEGNn9dVO— Viola Davis (@violadavis) February 19, 2020
Apart from Janet, the retired NBA player Rex Chapman uploaded a video on Twitter with a compilation of Willona's entrances from "Good Times."
Viola Davis also took to Twitter to say that it was a pleasure to meet the late actress as she shaped many of her memories as a child. The Academy Award-winning actress finished her message with: "God Bless you, Ja'Net DuBois! RIP."