‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ actress Denise Dowse dead at 64

‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ actress Denise Dowse dead at 64

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Actress Denise Dowse has died, her sister confirmed in an Instagram post. She was 64.

“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,” Tracey Dowse wrote Saturday evening.

The “Beverly Hills, 90210” actress was hospitalized Sunday and has spent the week in a coma fighting severe meningitis. Doctors did not say when or if she would wake up since the coma was “not medically induced.” She died less than a week later.

“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,” the actress’ sister added in the post.


  • Denise Dowse smiling

    Denise Dowse at the Wendy Raquel Robinson And Amazing Grace Conservatory’s “There’s No Place Like Home” 20th AnniverSoiree on November 5, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.   (Greg Doherty/Getty Images)

  • Denise Dowse in Los Angeles

    Actress and Director Denise Dowse in Los Angeles, California on November 5, 2017.   (Greg Doherty/Getty Images)

Tracey also addressed Denise’s supporters and fans.

“Denise loved all of you. I know that she is watching over us with all the love she has,” Dowse wrote.

Denise’s sister asked for privacy and continued prayers during this time. She will later provide information concerning Denise’s funeral or “her Celebration of Life,” she said.

Dowse concluded: “Again I am so grateful for all the calls, text messages, direct messages, and silent prayers for my sister. We could not have made it so gracefully and painlessly without all of the prayer warriors around the world. Thank you for giving so selflessly.”


Ian Ziering, a “Beverly Hills, 90210” co-star, responded to the post calling the death “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,” he wrote. “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,” Ziering concluded.

Denise Dowse attends the 2022 Pan African Film and Arts Festival on April 19, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. 

Denise Dowse attends the 2022 Pan African Film and Arts Festival on April 19, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. 
(Maury Phillips/Getty Images)

Actor Jason Kelley (“Mayor of Kingstown,” “Murder in the First”), who said Denise was his first professional stage director and coach, said many of the actors her life impacted will continue to carry her legacy.

“Thank you for bravely sharing this sad news. So sorry to hear,” Kelley wrote. “The wisdom and standard she demanded provided the foundations of my theatrical craft. We enjoyed bragging about our Virginia roots and she encouraged me to trust my instincts. Over the years we’d bump into each other on the boards (occasionally at The Cork for a drink) and most recently at The Road Theatre. It felt like a reunion. She is and was a Mother Queen to many and her spirit is sown into the community.”

  • Denise Dowse on ABC's

    Denise Dowse made an appearance on GREY’S ANATOMY – “Help Me Through the Night.” (Christopher Willard via Getty Images)

  • Denise Dowse on ABC's

    Denise Dowse made an appearance on CASTLE – “Witness for the Prosecution.”  (Scott Everett White/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

  • Denise Dowse on ABC's

    Denise Dowse made an appearance on STUMPTOWN – “‘Til Dex Do Us Part.”  (John Fleenor via Getty Images)

He added: “Her presence will be missed but her Essence is going to continue in those artists, friends and family she gave so much of herself to.”

Actor and director Larry Powell wrote: “My first acting mentor. Well, beyond that, life mentor. I love this woman so deeply. I am sending nothing but fierce love and prayers.”


Tracey Dowse announced her sister’s hospitalization and medical condition on Sunday, Aug. 7.

“As many of you know I am a private person. So this is hard for me,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “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 added.

Denise Dowse is known for playing Mrs. Teasley on the teen drama “Beverly Hills, 90210,” and most recently portrayed Dr. Rhonda Pine on HBO’s “Insecure.” She starred in “The Guardian,” “Coach Carter,” and more.

Fox News’ Stephanie Giang-Paunon contributed to this report.

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