Her sister Tracey shared the news on Instagram, writing, “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.”
Dowse had recently fell into a coma brought on by a virulent form of meningitis. Her sister first shared news of Dowse’s health condition through her Facebook on August 5.
“I am trying to keep my spirits up and support those who need it. As many of you know I am a private person. So this is hard for me. I am requesting support and prayers be offered me and my sister, and my only immediate family Denise Dowse,” Trace Dowse wrote. “Her doctors do not know when she will come out of the coma as it was not medically induced. She is a vibrant actor and director that should have many years ahead of her. Thoughts, prayers and support are greatly appreciated.”
Dowse’s screen-acting career stretches back to the 1980’s. She is known for her recent role in “Insecure” as a therapist, Dr. Rhonda Pine. She also had a recurring role in “Beverly Hills, 90210” as vice principal Yvonne Teasley, appearing in 24 episodes of the Fox series.
Born on Feb. 21, 1958 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Dowse graduated from Norfolk State University before beginning her screen acting career. Her first credit came in 1989 with a one-episode appearance in the series “Almost There!”
Dowse’s prominent film credits include roles in “Bio-Dome,” “Starship Troopers,” “A Civil Action,” “Ray,” “Coach Carter” and “The Call.” She also was a regular guest star across television series over the past thirty years, with appearances on “Seinfield,” “Full House,” “Murphy Brown,” “Touched by an Angel,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Chicago Hope,” “ER,” “The West Wing,” “House,” and “Castle.”
She is survived by her sister Tracey.