Denise Dowse was in a coma but has since died (Picture: Getty Images)
Denise Dowse has died at the age of 64, it has been confirmed.
The actress, who was best known for starring in TV series such as Insecure and Beverly Hills, 90210, had contracted meningitis earlier in August and fell into a coma.
Doctors said it was not a medically-induced coma and that they were unsure if she would come out of it.
However, her sister Tracey announced on Saturday that her sibling had died.
She wrote in a social media statement: ‘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.’
Paying tribute to the late actress, Tracey continued: ‘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.
Dowse was best known for roles in Beverly Hills, 90210 and Insecure (Picture: Getty Images)
Dowse has been remembered as a ‘loving soul’ (Picture: Getty Images)
‘Denise loved all of you. I know that she is watching over us with all the love she has.’
The post concluded: ‘Again I am so grateful for all the calls, text messages, direct messages, and silent prayers for my sister. 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 asked for privacy so the family can grieve, and revealed a ‘Celebration of Life’ service will take place at a later date.
Several stars have paid tribute to Dowse, including Beverly Hills, 90210 actor Ian Ziering – who played Steve Sanders – who commented: ‘This is 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.
Dowse was perhaps best known for playing Yvonne Teasley, Vice Principal of West Beverly Hills High School, in Beverly Hills, 90210 (Picture: Fox)
The actress starred alongside Greg Germann in Grey’s Anatomy (Picture: ABC via Getty Images)
‘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.’
Singer Ledisi wrote: ‘My Tracey ….❤️and My Denise ❤️🥲 🙏🏾……no words right now.’
General Hospital actress Sonya Eddy added: ‘I’m so sorry to hear this. Denise was one of my favorite people. One of the most giving, loving and gentle people I’ve met. I’m sending prayers and peace to her family and those who loved her.’
Dowse starred alongside Michael Ealy in the series Stumptown (Picture: ABC via Getty Images)
One of Dowse’s many TV credits included hit sci-fi series Grey’s Anatomy, in which she appeared opposite Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in The X-Files (Picture: Rex Features)
In 1996, Dowse starred in slapstick comedy Bio-Dome alongside Kevin West, Kylie Minogue and Dara Tomanovich (Picture: Rex Features)
Young Sheldon star Jason Kelly revealed Dowse was his first professional stage director and coach.
He wrote in a touching tribute: ‘The wisdom and standard she demanded provided the foundations of my theatrical craft. We enjoyed bragging about our Virginia roots and she encouraged me to trust my instincts.
‘Over the years we’d bump into each other on the boards (occasionally at The Cork for a drink) and most recently at The Road Theatre. It felt like a reunion. She is and was a Mother Queen to many and her spirit is sown into the community.’
He added: ‘Her presence will be missed but her Essence is going to continue in those artists, friends and family she gave so much of herself to.’
Dowse enjoyed a stellar acting career, with roles including Dr Rhonda Pyne on HBO series Insecure between 2017 until 2020, as well as playing Yvonne Teasley on Beverly Hills, 90210.
Other appearances included Grey’s Anatomy, Coach Carter and Buffy The Vampire Slayer among many other film and TV shows.
Dowse’s sister Tracey shared the star’s battle with meningitis last Sunday.
Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, known as meninges, and can be caused by a bacteria or virus.
It can affect people of any age but is most common in babies, children and young adults and can be life-threatening if not treated quickly as it can lead to septicaemia and cause permanent damage to the brain or nerves.
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