Denise Dowse, who starred as Vice Principal Yvonne Teasley on the original Beverly Hills, 90210, died on Saturday. She was 64. Dowse was hospitalized with severe meningitis last week and was in a coma.
"I want to take this moment to thank our friends and family for all of the love and prayers. 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," Dowse's sister, Tracey Dowse, wrote on her Instagram page. "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. Denise loved all of you. I know that she is watching over us with all the love she has. I ask for privacy and your continued prayers."
A Celebration of Life for the actress will be scheduled at a later date, Tracey wrote. She went on to thank those who offered prayers and messages of support during the past week. "We could not have made it so gracefully and painlessly without all of the prayer warriors around the world," Tracey wrote. "Thank you for giving so selflessly."
On Aug. 7, Tracey announced Dowse was hospitalized and in a coma "brought on by a virulent form of meningitis." Her doctors could not say if she would emerge from a coma, which was not medically induced. "She is a vibrant actor and director that should have many years ahead of her," Tracey wrote. "Thoughts, prayers, and support are greatly appreciated. I have been reading your comments and want to acknowledge everyone's comments. I will not be responding to your texts as I do not want you to think it is coming from her at this time."
Drowse was born in Honolulu on Feb. 21, 1958. She began acting in 1989, making her debut in an episode of Almost There. Her television credits include ALF, Seinfeld, Full House, Murphy Brown, California Dreams, ER, All of Us, Charmed, Law & Order, The Bernie Mac Show, Criminal Minds, New Amsterdam, Snowfall, and Grey's Anatomy. She also appeared in several movies, including Sneakers, Pleasantville, Dr. Dolittle 2, Ray, Coach Carter, The Call, and Loners. She appeared in 23 episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210 as Vice Principal Yvonne Teasley. She also directed Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story, which was screened at the 2022 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles in April.
"This is insanely heartbreaking," 90210 star Ian Ziering wrote on Instagram. "Throughout all my years working on Beverly Hills 90210, my scenes with Denise will always be remembered with the utmost in respect for her talent, and fondness for the loving soul she was. Some of my heartiest off-camera laughs were between she and I hammering out the... discipline her Mrs. Teasley would dish out to my Steve Sanders. My sincere condolences to her family, and all others who she was dear to. God bless you Denise, pay forward that Legacy Key."