‘Insecure’ and ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ actor Denise Dowse in a coma from meningitis

A woman with blond hair wrapped into a bun with a red rose in it posing in a black suit and ruffled white shirt.
Denise Dowse attends the 2022 Pan African Film and Arts Festival April in Los Angeles.
(Maury Phillips / Getty Images)

“Insecure” and “Beverly Hills, 90210” actor Denise Dowse has slipped into a coma after contracting a “virulent form of meningitis,” her sister said Friday.

TMZ confirmed that Dowse, 64, was still in a coma as of Tuesday afternoon. Representatives for the performer did not immediately respond Tuesday to The Times’ request for comment.

“I am requesting support and prayers be offered me and my sister @denisedowse,” Dowse’s sister, Tracey Dowse, wrote last week on Instagram.

“She is currently in the hospital in a coma ... Her doctors do not know when she will come out of the coma as it was not medically induced. She is a vibrant actor and director that should have many years ahead of her. Thoughts, prayers and support are greatly appreciated.”


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Dowse is known for playing Mrs. Yvonne Teasley, the vice principal of West Beverly Hills High School on the long-running teen drama “Beverly Hills, 90210.” More recently, she portrayed Molly’s (Yvonne Orji) therapist, Dr. Rhonda Pine, in three seasons of Issa Rae’s acclaimed HBO comedy “Insecure.”

Her many other credits include “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Good Trouble,” “The Guardian,” “Coach Carter” and “Rocket Power.”

Among those who have wished Dowse and her loved ones well on social media this month is “black-ish” star Tracee Ellis Ross, who commented on Tracey Dowse’s Instagram post, “May the universe send all it can muster and then more to heal. Sending prayers and love and more love to this force of a woman who has poured so much love into so many.”

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The latest report on Dowse comes a day after a spokesperson confirmed that another prolific TV actor, Anne Heche, was also in a coma after crashing her car Friday into a Mar Vista home and causing it to catch fire. Heche, 53, suffered burns and a pulmonary injury in the crash and was in critical condition as of Monday evening.