Actress and director Denise Dowse, whose prolific career featured roles in “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Insecure” and “Ray,” has died, her family confirmed to CNN Sunday. She was 64.
“With a heavy heart I have to announce her passing away,” the actress’ sister Tracey Dowse said in a statement.
She also announced her sister’s death on the actress’ Instagram account, remembering her as an advocate for African American theater who was also dedicated to sharing the profession with children. Dowse acted and directed for the Negro Ensemble Company and directed plays for the Amazing Grace Conservatory, an inner-city youth theatrical training program.
Dowse was well known for her role as Mrs. Yvonne Teasley in the hit series “Beverly Hills, 90210” and recently appeared in the HBO comedy series “Insecure” as Molly Carter’s (Yvonne Orji) therapist. In addition to acting roles in dozens of movies and TV series, Dowse also directed film, including “Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story,” which premiered in April at the Pan African Film Festival.
“I am so proud to have been her sister,” Tracey Dowse told CNN. “She lit up the stage and screen. She knew how to dance in life and see the joy. Something we can all learn from.”
Dowse’s manager, Sandra Siegal from Siegal Company, remembered her client and friend in a statement Sunday.
“I am heartbroken at the loss of our brilliantly talented, beautiful, elegant, eloquent and loving Denise, who’ve I’ve had the joy and blessing of managing and collaborating on her career for over 25 years, as well as a personal friendship. I am at a loss, but have gained so much from knowing her. Denise’s legacy and memory will live on forever for she has truly touched so many,” Siegal said.
Throughout her decades-long career, Dowse appeared in several TV series, including “Charmed,” “Girlfriends,” “The West Wing” and “Law and Order.” She also held roles in movies including “Pleasantville” and “Requiem for a Dream,” according to her IMDB profile.