How Did Denise Dowse Die? 'Beverly Hills 90210' and 'Insecure' Star Dies After after Battle with 'Virulent form of Meningitis'

Last week, Denise was admitted to an unnamed hospital after battling a "virulent form of meningitis," according to a post by Tracey on Instagram.

  • Updated

Beverly Hills 90210 star and popular character actor Denise Dowse has died aged 64 after slipping into a coma following a battle with a "virulent form of meningitis." It was earlier revealed by TMZ that Dowse was "fighting for her life" and was in a coma that was not medically induced.

Tributes began to come in for the "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Insecure" star after her death was announced by her sister Tracey on Instagram. According to a post by Tracey on Instagram last week, Denise was at an unnamed hospital after battling a "virulent form of meningitis." Her fight with death ended on Saturday.

End of the Fight

Denise Dowse
Denise Dowse Twitter

Announcing Denise Dowse's death, her sister Tracy wrote on Instagram: "I want to take this moment to thank our friends and family for all of the love and prayers. 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."

Denise Dowse
Denise Dowse Twitter

Tracey requested "privacy and your continued prayers" from her friends and followers and stated that she would "provide, at a later time, her Celebration of Life information" on Instagram.

Last week, Denise was admitted to an unnamed hospital after battling a "virulent form of meningitis," according to a post by Tracey on Instagram. She stated in the caption that the coma was not medically induced and asked for 'support and prayers' at this time.

Meningitis, which can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, is an inflammation of the membranes that serve as a protective layer over the brain and spinal cord.

Denise Dowse
Denise Dowse Twitter

Dowse was remembered as a superb actor and a "loving soul" by Ian Ziering, who portrayed Yvonne Teasley, a student of Dowse's West Beverly Hills High vice principal on "90210."

"So heartbreaking to say Denise Dowse has passed away. Throughout all my years working on Beverly Hills 90210, my scenes with Denise will alwars [sic] 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.

Everyone's Actress

Denise Dowse
Denise Dowse in Beverly Hills 90210 Twitter

Denise Dowse had a distinguished career that includes regular TV roles on shows like "The Guardian", "Beverly Hills, 90210", and HBO's "Insecure", starring Issa Rae from 2017 to 2020.

On the big screen, Denise Dowse stood out as Ray Charles' manager Marlene André in Ray (2004), starring Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, and she played another principal, this one based on a real-life educator at Richmond (California) High School, in Coach Carter (2005), starring Samuel L. Jackson.

Denise Dowse
Denise Dowse Twitter

Dowse has directed several theatrical productions, including "Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story", which starred Ledisi as the illustrious gospel singer. In April, the movie debuted at the Pan African Film & Arts Festival in Los Angeles.

Over the course of the show's 10-year run (1990-2000), Dowse appeared in 23 episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210 as the strict yet kind vice principal Teasley of West Beverly Hills High.

She then had 32 appearances as Judge Damsen on the CBS drama "The Guardian", which starred Simon Baker from 2001 to 2004, and six as Molly's (Yvonne Orji) therapist on the show's final three HBO seasons.

Join the Discussion
READ MORE