Denise Dowse, '90210' actress, dies at 64 following severe meningitis battle: 'Heartbreaking'

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Denise Dowse, the actress known for playing Mrs. Yvonne Teasley on the teen drama "Beverly Hills, 90210," has died following a battle with severe meningitis. She was 64.

"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," her sister, Tracey Dowse, shared in an Instagram post Saturday night.

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," Tracey concluded.

USA TODAY previously confirmed Dowse's social media posts were her sister Tracey.

Earlier: '90210' actor Denise Dowse hospitalized in coma while fighting severe meningitis

A week before Dowse's death, her sister revealed that the actress went into a coma after being hospitalized for meningitis. "Her doctors do not know when she will come out of the coma as it was not medically induced," Tracey shared on Aug. 7.

"As many of you know I am a private person. So this is hard for me. I am requesting support and prayers be offered me and my sister, and my only immediate family @denisedowse," Dowse's sister wrote. "She is a vibrant actor and director that should have many years ahead of her. Thoughts, prayers and support are greatly appreciated."

The Mayo Clinic defines meningitis as an inflammation of the fluid and membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Most U.S. cases result from a viral infection, but can be caused by bacterial, parasitic and fungal infections, according to the clinic's website. Some cases can improve without treatment in a few weeks while others are life-threatening, requiring emergency antibiotic treatment.

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Dowse's "90210" co-star Ian Ziering expressed his condolences on Saturday, 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 commented under Dowse's post. "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."

He added: "My sincere condolences to her family, and all others who she was dear to. God bless you Denise, pay forward that Legacy Key."

Actress Angela E. Gibbs commented, "My my my … so sorry to hear this … LIFE WELL LIVED DENISE… so glad I got to know you 🤎👑💫 Rest in Power … my love and prayers to the family."

Actor Jason Kelly shared that Dowse was his "first professional stage director and coach."

"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," he recalled. "She is and was a Mother Queen to many and her spirit is sown into the community. 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."

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In addition to "Beverly Hills, 90210," Dowse is known for playing Judge Rebecca Damsen on CBS' "The Guardian." Her other TV credits include "Grey's Anatomy" and "The Resident." Most recently, she played Dr. Rhonda Pine on HBO's "Insecure," which wrapped its final season in December.

Dowse also appeared in films including "Starship Troopers," "Bio-Dome," "Pleasantville" and "Reign Over Me."

She directed the film "Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story," starring Ledisi, Corbin Bleu, Keith David and Vanessa Williams. The film, which has not yet been released, is about gospel singer and activist Mahalia Jackson.

Contributing: Anthony Robledo

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Denise Dowse dies: 'Beverly Hills, 90210' actress battled meningitis