Denise Dowse, 'Beverly Hills, 90210' Actress, in Coma

Denise Dowse is currently hospitalized in a coma as the Beverly Hills, 90210 alum battles a severe case of meningitis. The 64-year-old actress' sister asked for prayers on social media in an Aug. 7 post while revealing just how serious her sister's health condition has gotten. 

"I am requesting support and prayers be offered me and my sister, and my only immediate family [Denise Dowse]," Tracey Dowse shared to her sister's Instagram and Facebook page. "She is currently in the hospital in a coma brought on by a virulent form of meningitis. Her doctors do not know when she will come out of the coma as it was not medically induced."

Meningitis is an inflammation of the fluid and membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, according to the Mayo Clinic. Initial signs and symptoms of meningitis typically include headaches, stiffness of the neck and fever. Most cases of meningitis in the U.S. are caused by a virus, but other causes include bacterial, parasitic and fungal infections. While some cases of meningitis improve quickly without treatment, others can be life-threatening.

Tracey continued in her statement, "She is a vibrant actor and director that should have many years ahead of her. Thoughts, prayers and support are greatly appreciated." As a "private person," it's been "difficult" trying to keep her spirits up, she admitted, but she did want people commenting on the post to know she has been reading their messages.

Denise's many friends and fans left encouraging messages on the post, including her former Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Ian Ziering, who wrote, "Sending prayers and hopes for better days ahead." Denise is best known for her role as Mrs. Teasley on the iconic teen drama, which aired through the '90s into the early '00s, as well as Judge Rebecca Damsen on the CBS drama series The Guardian, which aired from 2001 to 2004. More recently, Denise appeared as Dr. Rhonda Pine in the HBO series Insecure.

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She also has appeared in a number of movies, including Starship Troopers, Bio-Dome, Pleasantville, Dr. Dolittle 2, Requiem for a Dream, Eulogy, Ray and Reign Over Me. Denise also is a talented director, having directed Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story, which premiered at the 2022 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles back in April and stars Ledisi, Corbin Bleu, Keith David, Vanessa Williams and Columbus Short.