Denise Dowse, a The veteran television and film performer, best known for her roles in “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Insecure,” has died after being hospitalized with meningitis. She was 64 years old.
Dowse’s death was announced Saturday on her Instagram account by her sister Tracey Dowse, who celebrated her late brother as “the most incredible sister, an accomplished and illustrious actress, mentor and director.”
“I want to take this time to thank our friends and family for all the love and prayers,” the post read. “It is with a very heavy heart that I inform everyone that my sister, Denise Dowse, has left to meet our family in eternal life.”
“She was my best friend and the last member of my family,” Dowse’s sister continued. “Denise loved you all. I know she watches over us with all the love she has.
Dowse was hospitalized in a coma in early August, with her sister revealing at the time that her condition was “caused by a virulent form of meningitis”.
“Her doctors don’t know when she’ll come out of the coma because it wasn’t medically induced,” Tracey explained, sharing that her sister is a “dynamic actress and director” and “should have many years ahead of her.”
With over 120 film and television credits to her name, Dowse has appeared on screen regularly since 1989, becoming a regular guest star on some of the most popular series of the next two decades, including “Seinfeld”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer “, “Charmed”, “Sister, Sister”, “Moesha”, “Full House”, “Murphy Brown”, “Chicago Hope”, “Girlfriends”, and “ER”.
But her recurring role as Vice Principal Mrs. Teasley on Fox’s “Beverly Hills, 90210,” in which she appeared in 24 episodes over the show’s 10 seasons, was perhaps her most beloved.
Dowse was memorialized in a touching tribute by Ian Ziering, her former 90s teen soap co-star, after news of her death was announced.
“Throughout my years working on Beverly Hills 90210, my scenes with Denise will always be remembered with the utmost respect for her talent and the affection she was for the loving soul that she was,” he wrote. “Some of my warmest laughs off camera were between her and me hammering away at the discipline her Mrs. Teasley would give my Steve Sanders.”
More recently, Dowse has made recurring appearances on shows like “Snowfall,” “The Resident” and “Imposters.” Her most recognizable role of late was in the final three seasons of Issa Rae’s acclaimed HBO comedy “Insecure” as Dr. Rhonda Pine, the therapist for Yvonne Orji’s character, Molly.
In a tweet on Sunday, Orji said it was “truly a delight and a pleasure” to work with Dowse on the series, which wrapped last year.
“She embodied the real-life strength and wisdom that her character #DrRhonda shared with Molly,” she wrote. “You will be truly missed and remembered so fondly. May your soul forever rest in perfect peace.
In addition to her television work, Dowse has also appeared in a handful of films over the course of her career, including ‘Ray’, ‘Bio-Dome’, ‘Starship Troopers’, ‘A Civil Action’, ‘Coach Carter’. and “The Call”. ”
Dowse made her directorial debut with the upcoming biopic “Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story” about the titular legendary gospel singer.
The film, which stars Ledisi, Columbus Short, Corbin Bleu, Janet Hubert and Wendy Raquel Robinson, served as the opening night selection of the 30th Pan-African Film and Arts Festival in April.
Dowse walked the red carpet at the premiere in her final public appearance.