Best known for her role as Wilona Woods, the nosy neighbor of the Evans family on “Good Times,” Ja’Net DuBois, died yesterday of “natural causes,” in her Glendale, Ca. home according to published reports. She was 74.
The Emmy-award winning actress started her career on Broadway and co-wrote and song the iconic “Movin’ on Up” theme song of “The Jeffersons.” Norman Lear cast her in the role of Wilona in “Good Times,” which aired from 1974-1979. DuBois appeared in all six seasons, the most memorable was when she rescued Penny, played by Janet Jackson, from an abusive mother and adopted her.
Born August 5, 1945, DuBois, who grew up in New York, appeared in films “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” and was in “A Raisin in the Sun” and “Golden Boy,” with Sammy Davis Jr. on Broadway. She won two Emmys for her voiceover on Eddie Murphy’s animated sitcom “The PJs,” which aired from 1999 to 2001.
DuBois is survived by her three children Rani, Yovanne and Burghardt DuBois.