Denise Dowse, Star Of Beverly Hills, 90210 And Insecure, Has Died At 64

Veteran actor Denise Dowse, who is best known for her roles as vice principal Yvonne Teasley on "Beverley Hills 90210," scientist Dr. Olivia Biggs in "Bio-Dome," and Judge Rebecca Damsen on "The Guardian," died on August 13, 2022. More recently, Dowse is probably most recognizable as Dr. Rhonda Pine in the award-winning HBO dramedy "Insecure" from Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore.

Dowse's sister Tracey kept fans informed about the 64-year-old's condition when she was admitted to the hospital after contracting a virulent form of meningitis that resulted in a coma. A few days later, an update was released via Instagram breaking the news of the actor's passing:

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. 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.

Born on February 21, 1958 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Denise Dowse started acting in 1989 after graduating with a degree from Norfolk State University. Her first role on television was Angela Quartermane in an episode of "Almost There." From there, she remained a staple of the small screen for years to come with roles on some of the biggest shows in television history like "Full House," "Seinfeld," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "ER," and "House." She also replaced CCH Pounder as Officer Shirley on the Nickelodeon cartoon "Rocket Power" after the first season. 

Dowse also appeared in a number of films in between her TV gigs. After acting opposite Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin in "Bio-Dome," she went on to take roles as Sky Marshall Meru in "Starship Troopers," Tyrone's mom in "Requiem for a Dream," and Marlene Andre in "Ray."

She is watching over us with all the love she has

As well as appearing in front of the camera, Denise Dowse directed a number of projects like "Recorded In Hollywood," a stage musical about pioneer rock n' roll radio host and record store owner John Dolphin, and "Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story," which celebrated its world premiere on April 19, 2022 at the 30th Pan African Film and Arts Festival in Los Angeles. The film about gospel singer and activist Mahalia Jackson starred Grammy winner Ledisi in the title role and Columbus Short as Dr. Martin Luther King, along with Janet Hubert, Keith David, and Corbin Bleu.

Dowse is also remembered for the impact she left on the industry in between takes. On the post announcing her death, her "Beverly Hills 90210" co-star Ian Ziering said: 

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.

On the same post, "Insecure" star and co-creator Issa Rae also shared her condolences, saying, "Sending you much love. Ms. Denise will be so missed and her impact will be felt for generations. I am forever thankful for her guidance."

Whether she was playing a judge, a doctor, a mom, or an angel, Denise Dowse was a loving and protective force in both the fictional world and the real world. We at /Film send our condolences to her family and loved ones.