Denise Dowse, remembered for roles in Insecure and Beverly Hills, 90210, has died at the age of 64. Her sister Tracey Dowse confirmed the news on the actor’s Instagram account.
Dowse’s passing was announced Saturday on her Instagram account by older sister Tracey Dowse, who praised her sibling as “the most amazing sister, a consummate, illustrious actress, mentor and director. She was my very best friend and final family member.”
On Aug. 7, Tracey wrote on Instagram that her younger sister was hospitalized and in a coma brought on by a “virulent form of meningitis.”
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.
She said those were among her favorite roles, as was her two-episode turn in 2011-12 as Yvonne Burns, the aunt of Shemar Moore’s Derek Morgan, on CBS’ Criminal Minds.
Dowse also did a lot of stage directing and was at the helm of Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story, starring Ledisi as the legendary gospel singer. The film opened the Pan African Film & Arts Festival in Los Angeles in April.
Dowse recurred as the strict but compassionate West Beverly Hills High vice principal Teasley on 23 episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210, spanning the entire 10-year run (1990-2000) of the Fox hit.
She then made 32 appearances as Judge Damsen on the 2001-04 Simon Baker-starring CBS drama The Guardian and six as Molly’s (Yvonne Orji) therapist on the final three seasons of Issa Rae’s Insecure at HBO.
We are sending our condolences to Ms. Dowse’s family and friends.