'90210' star Denise Dowse dies at 64

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Actor Denise Dowse has died after battling meningitis. She was 64.

Tracey Dowse, Denise's sister, released a statement about the late star's death on Instagram. In the caption, Tracey Dowse thanked everyone for their thoughts and prayers for her sister, who was hospitalized in a coma in early August.

“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,” she wrote. “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," she added.

Following her sister’s death, Tracey Dowse requested privacy and “continued prayers,” explaining that she will provide later updates about a celebration of life service.

“Again I am so grateful for all the calls, text messages, direct messages, and silent prayers for my sister,” she concluded the message. “We could not have made it so gracefully and painlessly without all of the prayer warriors around the world. Thank you for giving so selflessly.”

Tracey Dowse first shared news of her sister’s illness on her own Instagram page on Aug. 5 when she asked for prayers. At the time, she explained, “(Denise) 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.”

On Aug. 7, she shared the same message on Denise’s Instagram page, asking for thoughts and prayers amid her sister’s condition.

Meningitis is "an inflammation of the fluid and membranes (meninges) surrounding your brain and spinal cord," according to Mayo Clinic. Most U.S. cases of meningitis are caused by a viral infection, but bacterial, parasitic and fungal infections are also common causes.

Fans, friends and former co-stars mourned the loss of Denise Dowse across social media.

In the comment section on Instagram, former Beverly Hills, 90210” star Ian Ziering penned a lengthy comment to pay tribute to the late actor, calling her death “insanely heartbreaking.”

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,” Ziering wrote. “Some of my heartiest off camera laughs were between she and I hammering out the 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.”

Former NBA star Stephen Howard shared a tribute in the comments, writing, “Denise was a beautiful soul and my life was made better knowing her. I’m sad that she is gone but happy that I got to know her. Rest in Power.”

Yvonne Orji, who starred alongside the actor on HBO’s “Insecure,” also shared a sweet message on Twitter.

“It truly was a delight and a pleasure to work with @denisedowse on @insecurehbo,” Orji wrote. “She embodied the strength and wisdom in real life that her character #DrRhonda shared with Molly. You will truly be missed and so fondly remembered. May your soul forever Rest In Perfect Peace.”

Denise Dowse, a daughter of a naval officer, was born on Feb. 21, 1958 in Honolulu, Hawaii, according to Variety. She accrued dozens of acting credits across film and television during her decadeslong career, from vice principal Yvonne Teasley on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” the Angel of Destiny on “Charmed” and Dr. Rhonda Pine on "Insecure."

Her other credits included roles in the series "The Resident," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," “Built to Last,” “Secrets & Lies,” “Imposters," and films "Ray," "Coach Carter," "Pleasantville" and “Requiem for a Dream."

In her most recent role, she portrayed Detective Trina McWilliams in the 2022 movie “A Cloud So High.”

CORRECTION (Aug. 15, 2022, 12:03 p.m.): A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled the last name of Denise Dowse's character on "Beverly Hills, 90210." She played Yvonne Teasley, not Weasley.