The Beverly Hills, 90210 star died following a battle with viral meningitis.[Source: NZ Herald]
Television actress Denise Dowse has died at age 64.
The veteran actress – who is best known for her 10-year stint as vice-principal Yvonne Teasley on Beverly Hills, 90210 and as Dr. Rhonda Pyne on Insecure – was hospitalised earlier this month after contracting meningitis, and her sister Tracey has now confirmed she died on August 13, aged 64.
Her sister wrote on the star’s official Instagram account: “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.
“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. I ask for privacy and your continued prayers.”
The star’s passing was initially reported by TV Line and comes after her sister revealed Dowse was in a coma for at least a week after suffering inflammation in the protective membranes that surrounded her brain and spinal cord.
Adding doctors had no idea when she would regain consciousness.
She announced last weekend: “As many of you have seen, my posts have been positive and uplifting.
I am trying to keep my spirits up and support those who need it. As many of you know I am a private person. So this is hard for me.
“I am requesting support and prayers be offered me and my sister, and my only immediate family @denisedowse . 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.
“She is a vibrant actor and director that should have many years ahead of her. Thoughts, prayers and support are greatly appreciated.
I have been reading your comments and want to acknowledge everyone’s comments. I will not be responding to your texts as I do not want you to think it is coming from her at this time.”
Since the announcement of the heartbreaking news many co-star’s and friends of the actress have paid tribute with their own posts on social media.
Tracee Ellis Ross commented on the Instagram post, “ohhhhh how I loved you. And oh you were sooooo loved! Thank you for all that you shared with me from Girlfriends to blackish!”
While Ian Ziering, who played student to Dowse’s West Beverly Hills High vice principal Yvonne Teasley on 90210, remembered her as a great actor and “loving soul”.
“So heartbreaking to say Denise Dowse has passed away,” he said. “Throughout all my years working on Beverly Hills 90210, my scenes with Denise will always be remembered with the utmost in respect for her talent, and fondness for the loving soul she was.
“Some of my heartiest off camera laughs were between she and I hammering out the the [sic] discipline her Mrs.
Teasley would dish out to my Steve Sanders. My sincere condolences to her family, and all others who she was dear to. God bless you Denise, pay forward that Legacy Key A,” he wrote on Instagram.”
NY Post reported Dowse was frequently seen on network TV in the 90s, with credits on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, The X-Files, Criminal Minds, Bones, House, Monk, Law & Order, Gilmore Girls, Charmed, The Bernie Mac Show, Nip/Tuck, Moesha, Sister, Sister, ER, Step by Step, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Seinfeld and Full House – among others.