While we were saddened to report the passing of actress and singer Ja’Net DuBois, the accolades that poured afterward indicated that she was one of the fortunate that had experienced a life well lived.
DuBois was mysterious about many of the details of her life, including her age and birthdate as well as her personal life. DuBois, for example, had four children with her Indian husband as well as a relationship with the actor Brock Peters that its likely few knew about.
Now another shocking detail of her personal life has emerged.
According to TMZ,DuBois’ family believes that the legendary jazz singer, dancer, and band leader Cabell “Cab” Calloway, was her father.
DuBois’ official death certificate was released last week. In addition to noting that she died of cardiac arrest, the document says that her father was legendary jazz singer, dancer and bandleader Cabell “Cab” Calloway.
The document said the late actress, who was born Jeannette Theresa DuBois, was also known as Jeannette T. Calloway-DuBois.
Cab Calloway was a swing era artist known for his many appearances at Harlem’s historic Cotton Club. Calloway is perhaps best known as the “hi-de-ho” man in the 1931 song “Minnie the Moocher.”
But Calloway’s paternity can’t be truly confirmed. In every record, DuBois’ father is listed as Gordon DuBois and her mother Lillian Gouedy.
Ja’Net’s daughter provided the information for the death certificate. Interestingly, her daughter, Dr. Kesha B. Grupta-Fields, listed her mother’s race as “mulatto.”
When asked to clarify the discrepancy between DuBois’ birth and death certificate, Grupta-Fields said, Gordon was married to Lillian and was instrumental in raising her mother. Essentially, he was her stepfather.
Calloway died in 1994 at 86. His estate claims to have had no knowledge about the possible relation.
They told TMZ, “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.”