Actress and director Denise Dowsey, whose illustrious career spanned roles in “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Insecure” and “Ray,” has died, her family confirmed to CNN on Sunday. She was 64 years old.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce his passing,” the actress’ sister Tracy Dowse said in a statement.
He announced the death of his sister on the actress’s Instagram account, remembering her as an advocate for African American theater, which was also dedicated to sharing the profession with children. Dawse acted and directed for the Negro Ensemble Company and directed plays for Amazing Grace Conservatory, an inner-city youth theatrical training program.
Dowsey was famous for her role as Mrs. Yvonne Teasley in the hit series “Beverly Hills, 90210” and most recently appeared as the therapist Molly Carter (Yvonne Orji) in the HBO comedy series “Insecure”. In addition to starring roles in dozens of films and TV series, Dawse also directed the film, including “Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story,” which premiered at the Pan African Film Festival in April.
“I’m very proud to be her sister,” Tracy Dawse told CNN. “She lit up the stage and screen. She knew how to dance and find joy in life. Something we can all learn from.”
Sandra Siegel, Dowse’s manager for The Seagull Company, remembered her client and friend in a statement on Sunday.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of our wonderfully talented, beautiful, elegant, eloquent and loving Denise, who has had the joy and blessings of a personal friendship, as well as managing and supporting her career for more than 25 years. I I am at a loss, but I have gained so much from knowing him. Denise’s legacy and memory will live on forever as she has truly touched so many,” Siegel said.
During her decades-long career, Dowsey appeared in several TV series, including “Charmed,” “Girlfriends,” “The West Wing” and “Law & Order.” He also played roles in films such as “Pleasantville” and “Requiem for a Dream”, according to his IMDB profile.