Hollywood star Denise Dowse dies aged 64

Hollywood actress Denise Dowse has died at age 64, after contracting viral meningitis.

Her sister Tracey announced her death on Saturday, alongside a smiling photo of the Beverly Hills, 90210 and Insecure star.

Denise Dowse as her character on Beverly Hills, 90210
Denise Dowse was most well known for her role on Beverly Hills, 90210. Photo: CBS

“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 my 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,” Tracey wrote on Instagram.


Tracey had informed fans a week ago that Denise was in a coma brought on by viral meningitis. It wasn’t a medically induced coma, so doctors were unsure when, or if, she would come out of the coma.

“She is a vibrant actor and director that should have many years ahead of her. Thoughts, prayers and support are greatly appreciated,” she wrote.

Denise Dowse stands in a hospital with three other Grey's Anatomy cast members
Denise had a long and varied career, appearing in shows such as Grey's Anatomy. Photo: Getty/ABC

It wasn’t long before tributes started flowing in for the star, best known as Yvonne Teasley on Beverly Hills, 90210.

Ian Ziering, who played a student on the show, penned an emotional note.

“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,” he began.

“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,” Ian wrote.

Issa Rae, who created Insecure and starred on the show alongside Denise, also sent condolences.

“Sending you so much love. Ms. Denise will be so missed and her impact will be felt for generations. I am forever thankful for her guidance,” she said.

Denise was also known as a talented director, and had just finished her first feature-length film, Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story. Starring Ledisi as the title character, the singer was among the first to send love.

“My Tracey…and My Denise…no words right now,” she commented.

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