Yesterday, there was breaking news that iconic actress Ja’Net DuBois had passed away at the age of 74. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, DuBois had not been sick at the time of her death and was considered sudden. The star’s death at her California home was completely unexpected for fans.
The very talented entertainer had a successful career spanning five decades. One of her most memorable roles was when she played the Evans family’s neighbor Willona Woods on Good Times. In the sitcom, Willona was also the adoptive mom of a young Janet Jackson’s character, Penny, which saw Jackson acting for the first time on the small screen.
As soon as the sad announcement made headlines, Jackson took to Instagram to pay tribute to her friend.
“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,” the “What Have You Done for Me Lately” hitmaker said.
“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.”
Both Jackson and DuBois starred in the hit show between 1974 and 1979.
Jackson attached three photos with DuBois in her most recent upload which saw them posing together over the years.
The first shot proved to be the most recent. The duo both flashed a huge smile and looked very happy to be in each other’s company.
The second picture had the same energy. Jackson wrapped her arm around DuBois and placed her cheek against hers.
In the third and final photograph, Jackson took her fans back to where it all started, on Good Times. DuBois stunned in an orange garment and wrapped a red scarf around her neck. She matched the look with a hat and rocked a bold red lip. A very young Jackson looked very adorable with her hair scraped off her face. The pair of them had an obvious connection and became beloved characters among fans of the show.
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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. ????
In the span of 12 hours, Jackson’s post racked up more than 172,000 likes and over 4,400 comments, proving to be popular with her 4.1 million followers.
“Soon as I heard the news I automatically thought of you. My heart is heavy, love you Janet,” one user wrote.
“Willona and Penny forever,” another shared.
“The last picture made me cry! Rest In Peace Legend,” remarked a third fan.
Over the Christmas period, Jackson shared a festive throwback from the set of Good Times on Instagram.