Most people know Jeannette (Ja’Net) Dubois from her starring role in the 1970s sitcom “Good Times.” Dubois played “#Willona Woods” best friend to the Evans family. She was known for being a sassy, beautiful and lively busybody neighbor. She was always the one to go to for the latest gossip. Most people know her role as being the adoptive mother of Penny, played by Janet Jackson in your youth. However, Dubois is known for more than her role on Good Times she is also a singer, writer, and painter. She co-wrote and sang the theme song of the sitcom, The Jefferson’s.
She was born in Brooklyn, New York to mother Rani Dubois. At the time of her appearance on “Good Times” she was just 28 years old. However, she played a much older character, closer to Esther Rolle’s age at 53. Dubois credits Rolle for being her mentor, and despite age difference the both is said to have enjoyed working together. Dubois is also credited for being the first African-American woman to appear in a Daytime Soap Opera. She has appeared in several shows and began her career first on Broadway, in “Golden Boy” and “A Raisin in the Sun.”
Dubois is the co-founder of the “Pan African Film & Arts Festival which showcases global films about people of African descent and fine arts. She has also been devoted to empowering youth by supporting several afterschool programs. She is also an honorary member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. She has received and been nominated for several awards including the TV Land Image Award.