Veteran TV actress Denise Dowse, whose roles spanned from Beverly Hills, 90210 to Insecure, has died after a battle with viral meningitis. She was 64 years old.
The news was announced by Dowse’s sister Tracey in an Instagram post on Saturday.
“I want to take this moment to thank our friends and family for all of the love and prayers,” she wrote. “It is with a very heavy heart that I inform everyone that my sister, Denise Dowse, has gone forward to meet our family in eternal life.”
She continued, “Denise Yvonne Dowse was the most amazing sister, a consummate, illustrious actress, mentor and director. She was my very best friend and final family member. Denise loved all of you. I know that she is watching over us with all the love she has.”
Dowse was hospitalized in a coma earlier this month after contracting meningitis. Her sister Tracey asked fans for their support in an Aug. 6 Facebook post: “I am requesting support and prayers be offered me and my sister, and my only immediate family Denise Dowse. She is currently in the hospital in a coma brought on by a virulent form of meningitis. Her doctors do not know when she will come out of the coma as it was not medically induced.”
A frequently seen face on ’90s TV shows like Seinfeld, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and ER, Dowse played West Beverly Hills High vice principal Yvonne Teasley on the Fox primetime soap Beverly Hills, 90210, appearing in two dozen episodes. (She also played a vice principal on NBC’s Saturday morning teen sitcom California Dreams.) She went on to recur on Simon Baker’s CBS legal drama The Guardian as family court judge Rebecca Damsen.
Ian Ziering, who worked with Dowse on 90210, paid tribute to her on Instagram:
More recently, Dowse played Molly’s therapist Dr. Rhonda Pine on HBO’s Insecure, debuting in Season 2 and returning for two more seasons. Her film credits included Ray, Starship Troopers and Pleasantville.