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'CHiPs' Actress Denise Dubarry Hay Dies at 63 of Rare Illness

Actress Denise DuBarry Hay, best known for her roles on CHiPs and Black Sheep Squadron, died over the weekend, her husband said. She was 63.

denise-dubarry-hay_getty-David Livingston : Contributor
(Photo: David Livingston / Contributor / Getty, Getty)

DuBarry Hay's husband, Bill Hay, confirmed the sad news to the Desert Sun newspaper, explaining that she died on Saturday, 17 days after her birthday, at UCLA Medical Center from a rare, deadly fungus.

The exact kind of fungus and how long she'd been having health problems were not immediately clear, though DuBarry Hay's colleague, Kim Waltrip, told the Desert Sun that she had been aware of her health concerns for the past two months.

Aside from her role as Sue on ChiPs and Nurse Samantha Green on Black Sheep Squadron, DuBarry Hay also appeared on a number of other programs, like The Love Boat, Days of Our Lives, Charlie's Angels and the 1970 Oscar-winning film Being There.

DuBarry Hay worked to build a film industry in the Coachella Valley, where Waltrip recruited her to the Olive Crest nonprofit for abused and at-risk children.

She eventually became president of Palm Springs Women in Film and Television, a group founded in 2001 to bring more production work to the Coachella Valley; she played a large role in establishing the group's annual fundraiser, the Broken Glass Awards, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Years later, she founded her own production company called Blue Moxie Entertainment, along with her own marketing company called Kaswit, Inc. Several films the company took on were screened during the Palm Springs International Film Festival, including 2017's Do It or Die and 2019's Walk to Vegas.

Waltrip told the Desert Sun that DuBarry Hay was "ahead of her time" as a woman in show business. "For me, she was like a very classy businesswoman," she recalled. "She was ahead of her time in terms of women supporting women. She always supported women. She was an entrepreneur and she was kind to everyone."

"She was super-ambitious and always supportive of everything everybody did. I got her involved in Olive Crest and she donated money for those houses [for the children]. When Denise gets involved, she goes all-in and she hosted fundraisers at her house. She just made sure Olive Crest had everything it needed."

Former Congresswoman Mary Bono, who was married to the late Sonny Bono and was one of DuBarry Hay's friends, told the Desert Sun that "she always had a huge heart and soul, but she also had a really keen business sense. She was just brilliant and she could see future business ideas long before anybody else could. She just had the ability to create things."

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DuBarry Hay is survived by daughters Whitney Hay and Samantha Lockwood, sons Adam Kay and Kyle Hay, and husband Bill Hay. Her household told the Desert Sun that a private celebration of life is scheduled for April.

Photo credit: David Livingston / Contributor / Getty