Denise Dowse Dies: ‘Insecure’ and ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ Actress Was 64

Denise Dowse Headshot (Credit: Instagram)

Denise Dowse, a director and actress known for roles on the television series Insecure, Girlfriends, and Beverly Hills, 90210, has died after battling meningitis. She was 64.

Her sister, Tracey Dowse, shared the news that Denise had passed away Saturday on Instagram.

“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,” Tracey wrote.

She added: “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.”

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Tracey asked for privacy and continued prayers, and said she would provide details later on Denise’s funeral.

Singer and actress Ledisi, who worked with Dowse on the upcoming film Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story, was among those who responded to the post. “My Tracey and My Denise … no words right now,” Ledisi wrote.

Dowse’s former Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Ian Ziering replied to the post with a heartfelt tribute.

“This is insanely heartbreaking. 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,” Ziering shared. “Some of my heartiest off camera laughs were between she and I hammering out the 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.”

Dowse’s death came a week after her sister asked for prayers on social media saying the actress and director was in a coma with meningitis, an inflammation of the fluid and membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

According to her IMDb page, Dowse was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on Feb. 21, 1958. The daughter of a naval officer, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Norfolk State University.

She had a long list of acting credits, including as vice principal Yvonne Teasley on Beverly Hills, 90210 and as Dr. Rhonda Pine on Insecure.

She also had roles on Snowfall, All of Us, Criminal Minds, Stumptown, The Resident, Good Trouble and Grey’s Anatomy, as well as the films Requiem for a Dream (2000), Ray (2004), Coach Carter (2005), and Fatale (2014).

The Hollywood veteran made her feature film directorial debut on Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story, starring Ledisi, Columbus Short, and Janet Hubert. The movie follows the life of gospel legend and civil rights activist, Mahalia Jackson. It opened the Pan African Film and Arts Festival in Los Angeles on April 19.