Beverly Hills, 90210 star Denise Dowse dies aged 64
Actress Denise Dowse, best known for playing the vice principal in US teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210, has died aged 64, her family has confirmed.
The Hawaiian actress also appeared in the drama series The Guardian, as well as Issa Rae’s comedy-drama Insecure.
Her death was announced over the weekend by her sister Tracey Dowse.
Posting on Instagram, she described the late star as “the most amazing sister, a consummate, illustrious actress, mentor and director.”
She previously wrote that her younger sibling had been in hospital in a coma in brought on by a “virulent form of meningitis”.
“She was my very best friend and final family member,” she added.
Born in Honolulu in 1958, Dowse started acting in 1989, playing a variety of small roles on TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ER and Seinfeld, before landing her best known part as Vice Principal Yvonne Teasley on the Beverly Hills, 90210 from 1991 to 2000.
The actress and later director also appeared in another teen series California Dreams, the 2005 comedy film Guess Who, alongside Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher, and provided the voice of Officer Shirley in the Nickelodeon animated series Rocket Power.
She portrayed judge Rebecca Damsen in The Guardian and Dr Rhonda Pine in Insecure.
Her other film credits include Coach Carter, the hit basketball drama film starring Samuel L Jackson, the Ray Charles biopic, Ray and the 2020 thriller Fatale, opposite Hilary Swank.
‘Life well lived’
Dowse had been set to direct the likes of Ledisi, Corbin Bleu and Keith David in the forthcoming drama film Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story.
Reacting to the news of her death, actress and singer Ledisi wrote: “My Tracey and my Denise… no words right now.”
US actress Viola Davis, who previously called Dowse a “terrific actress”, tweeted: “RIP….very sad”, alongside a heartbreak emoji.
Fellow actress and director Angela Gibbs offered: “So sorry to hear this… Life well lived Denise… So glad I go to know you.”