Denise Dowse dead: ‘Insecure’ actor was 64

Denise Dowse, a prolific performer known for roles in ‘Insecure’ and ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’, has passed away, her manager confirmed to the Los Angeles Times on Sunday. She was 64.

Dowse’s sister, Tracey Dowse, shared on social media last week that the actor had fallen into a coma from “a virulent form of meningitis.” Tracey Dowse paid a loving tribute to Denise Dowse on Saturday via her sister’s Instagram page.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I inform everyone that my sister, Denise Dowse, has gone forth to meet our family in eternal life,” she wrote.

“Denise Yvonne Dowse was the most wonderful sister, an accomplished, illustrious actress, mentor and director. She was my best friend and last family member. Denise loved you all. I know she watches over us with all the love she has.”

In addition, Tracey Dowse asked for privacy and “ongoing prayers” before adding that she would provide details about any memorial services “at a later date.”

“I am so grateful for all the phone calls, texts, direct messages and silent prayers for my sister,” she said. “We couldn’t have made it so graceful and painless without all the prayer warriors around the world. Thank you for giving so selflessly.”

In the popular teen drama “Beverly Hills, 90210,” Denise Dowse played Mrs. Yvonne Teasley, the vice principal of West Beverly Hills High School, from 1991 to 2000. She also appeared as Judge Rebecca Damson in all three seasons of the early 2000s. legal drama “The Guardian.”

More recently, she played the role of Molly’s (Yvonne Orji) therapist, Dr. Rhonda Pine, on three seasons of Issa Rae’s acclaimed HBO comedy “Insecure,” which ran from 2016 to 2021. Her other TV credits include “Criminal Minds,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Good Trouble,” “Rocket Power.” “, “Roc”, “Touched by an Angel”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Law & Order”, “Bones”, “9-1-1”, “Snowfall”, “ER”, “Charmed”, ‘Imposters’, ‘Secrets and Lies’ and ‘Seinfeld’.

On film, Dowse starred as talent manager Marlene André opposite Jamie Foxx’ Ray Charles in 2004’s “Ray.” She also shared the big screen with Samuel L. Jackson in 2005’s “Coach Carter” as Principal Garrison – inspired by a real-life educator in Richmond. , California. Dowse’s other film projects include “Sneakers” (1992), “Bio-Dome” (1996), “Starship Troopers” (1997), “Pleasantville” (1998), “Requiem for a Dream” (2000), “Dr. Dolittle 2” (2001), “Guess Who” (2005) and “Her Best Move” (2007).

In a statement to The Times, Dowse’s longtime manager, Sandra Siegal, said she was heartbroken at the loss of her “brilliantly talented, beautiful, elegant, eloquent and loving” girlfriend.

“Denise’s legacy and memory will live on forever as she truly touched so many,” Siegal wrote. “Since we often signed off at the end of our conversations, I will continue to love you a trillion times across the globe and back.”

The daughter of a US Navy officer, Dowse was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and started acting in the third grade, according to a 2015 interview with Brownstone Radio. Although she often moved with her family, performing remained a priority and a constant in Dowse’s early life. However, by the time she reached high school, Dowse had to make a choice: Would she join the Navy and follow in her father’s footsteps or pursue theater and follow her heart?

“I chose for myself,” Dowse told Brownstone Radio.

Dowse got her big break when she worked as a background actor on the set of the 1980s sitcom ‘ALF’. After the director of the episode gave Dowse a call, Dowse was able to get union representation and an agent. Then her career started to take off.

In addition to her extensive film and TV work, Dowse has directed a number of plays as part of the Amazing Grace Conservatory in Los Angeles, the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City (“Recorded in Hollywood”) and the Negro Ensemble Company in New York (“Daughters of the Mock”), according to the Hollywood Reporter. Dowse spent over 18 years as a resident director and mentor at the Amazing Grace Conservatory, a theatrical training program for young creatives in LA

Earlier this year, Dowse’s directorial debut – “Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story,” starring Ledisi as the legendary gospel singer – premiered at the Pan African Film and Arts Festival in LA.

In the wake of Dowse’s death, the Amazing Grace Conservatory remembered “Ms. Denise” as “a creative icon, dedicated to elevating and shaping young minds through art.”

“You are loved forever, cherished forever and gone too soon,” the AGC said in a statement on Saturday.

“A masterclass and a beacon of light, you taught us ALL how to be our best, and never flinch! We are your muffins, your legacy lives on, in every student, staff, parent, technician, musician and artist you’ve touched you’ve done it ALL! Rest well queen, your work has changed lives and touched millions.”

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