Is Cab Calloway Ja'Net DuBois' Father? The Shocking Claim The Actress' Daughter Made In Mom's Death Certificate

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Is Cab Calloway Ja'Net DuBois' Father? The Shocking Claim The Actress' Daughter Made In Mom's Death Certificate
Entertainment And News

On February 17, 2020, Ja'Net DuBois — the beloved star of the hit 1970s television show Good Times — passed away. Her death prompted an outpouring of remembrances from fans of the show who spoke fondly of her talent. 

Yet, on March 13, 2020, her death certificate was released by the Los Angeles County coroner's office, and it had some shocking revelations — including the potential true nature of DuBois' parentage.

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So, is Cab Calloway Ja'Net DuBois's father? Let's look at what we know about these claims.

1. Is Cab Calloway Ja'Net DuBois' father? Her daughter claims he is. 

DuBois's daughter, Dr. Kesha Grupta-Fields, is listed as providing the information for her mother's death certificate. It was on said death certificate that she claimed for the first time, that jazz legend Cab Calloway was her biological grandfather AKA Ja'Net Dubois' father.

2. Who was Cab Calloway?

Considered a legend in the jazz world, Cabell Calloway III — known only as Cab Calloway — was best known for his songs called "Minnie The Moocher" and "The Reefer Man." Getting his start at the legendary Savoy Ballroom, Calloway would later become one of the most popular Black musicians of the 1930s, alongside his contemporaries Louis Armstrong and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. And though his influence would extend far beyond the world of jazz — perhaps most famously appearing in the hit film, The Blues Brothers, and in the video for Janet Jackson's song "Alright" — he died on November 18, 1994 at the age of 86.

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3. DuBois' death certificate also revealed her true age. 

When DuBois first died on February 17, 2020, many online obituaries listed her age as 74. However, several biographical sources differed about DuBois's true year of birth. Some sources listed her year of birth as 1938Others listed her year of birth as 1945. The release of the death certificate, however, confirmed DuBois' true year of birth was 1932, making her 87 years old when she died.

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4. DuBois' daughter said that Calloway was her biological father, and that Gordon DuBois was her stepfather. 

While DuBoiss daughter maintained the long-held claim that Lillian Gouedy was the actress's mother, she claimed Gordon DuBois was merely the Good Times actress's step-father. DuBois' daughter Rani went on to add that Gordon DuBois was "instrumental" in raising her mother but she insisted that Calloway was her mother's real biological father

5. This is the first time this claim has been made. 

The release of DuBois's death certificate with claims of Calloway being her father marked the first time such claims were made. In all online biographies about the late actress, Gordon DuBois is listed as her biological father. 

6. Calloway's estate responded to the claims. 

"While we have a great appreciation for Ja'Net DuBois' long and successful career, the Calloway Estate has nothing to add to this single document that has numerous mistakes and no verification," the Calloway estate said in a statement. The estate also added they would be open to talking to the DuBois family if they could provide "compelling facts" to substantiate their claim of parentage.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, publicist, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, BET.com, and more.