The Diva Debate: Sandra Clark (Jackee Harry) vs. Wilona Woods (Ja’net DuBois)


Sandra Clarke and Wilona Woods brought sass and class to their respective sitcoms.

This week’s Diva Debate involves two of the sassiest women not play leading roles in their respective sitcom series nevertheless, their appearance each week was mandatory.

Sandra Clark was the too sexy neighbor of Mary Jenkins (Marla Gibbs) on ‘227’. Wilona Woods was the chatty, yet dependable neighbor of Florida (Esther Rolle) and James Evans (John Amos) on ‘Good Times’.

There was an annoying sexiness to Sandra Clark, played by Emmy Award-Winning actress Jackee’ Harry.  The annoyance came from the nails-on-the-chalkboard squeal in her voice — which became muted once she appeared in one of those painted-on dresses. Sandra had no problem telling neighbor Mary Jenkins about her encounters with men. Mary made sure her husband Lester stayed well away from Sandra — who was Morris Day in heels.

In 1987, Harry became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy Award for Most Outstanding Actress in a comedy series. As the series went on, Gibbs and Harry went back and forth about who was the true lead in the series. Their feud was short-lived and both have continued to work together far beyond ‘227’.

Wilona Woods was a divorced free spirit who took the liberty of entering the Evans home whenever she pleased — much to the chagrin of James Evans — who had to look at Florida every night. Wilona was full of snapbacks and neighborhood gossip. There was a seasoned sexiness about Wilona. She took satisfaction in raising Penny (Janet Jackson), an abused child who she fought (almost physically) to adopt from her mother (Laverne “Chip” Fields). Wilona could rag with the best of them, clothes were simply an accessory to her beauty.

Ja’net Dubois’ character was an independent woman of the times — who found satisfaction in being a small part of the Evans’ daily life — until Penny came along. After Amos’ and Rolle’s characters where phased out, it was Dubois who assumed more of a lead role in the series final seasons. Dubois sang the lead song for ‘The Jeffersons’ and has appeared in several sitcoms and motion pictures.


3 Responses to “The Diva Debate: Sandra Clark (Jackee Harry) vs. Wilona Woods (Ja’net DuBois)”

  1. Vinny Hardy says:

    This may be the closest one yet. I have to go with Wilona, just barely. Both are sexy, but Wilona’s sexiness combined with practicality give her the edge.

  2. ch555x says:

    That’s a toss up/push, though I was exposed to Sandra as a kid and grew to appreciate Wilona as I got older. If you gave me one over the other, I wouldn’t complain.

  3. JD says:

    It has to be Ms. DuBois

    Check back in the day…