Beverly Hills 90210 star Denise Dowse dies days after falling into a coma

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Beverly Hills 90210 star Denise Dowse has sadly died at the age of 64 after contracting meningitis.

The Grey's Anatomy actress was left "fighting for her life" as she fell into a coma last week, with her sister Tracy updating fans on her health battle.

Denise contracted a "virulent form of meningitis", her sister confirmed, saying at the time of her initial diagnosis: "Her doctors do not know when she will come out of the coma as it was not medically induced."

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And now Tracy has confirmed that Denise has sadly died, issuing a statement which read: "I want to take this moment to thank our friends and family for all of the love and prayers. 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."

She added: "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 with all the love she has."

Tracy continued to fans: "Again I am so grateful for all the calls, text messages, direct messages, and silent prayers for my sister.

"We could not have made it so gracefully and painlessly without all of the prayer warriors around the world. Thank you for giving so selflessly."

Along with her role as Mrs. Yvonne Teasley in Beverly Hills 90210, Denise starred as Dr. Rhonda Pine in Insecure, as well as appearing in everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to The West Wing.

Stars have already begun paying tribute to Denise, with her 90210 co-star Ian Ziering writing: "This is 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."

The Steve Sanders star went on: "Some of my heartiest off camera laughs were between she and I hammering out the the discipline her Mrs. Teasley would dish out to my Steve Sanders.

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

While General Hospital's Sonya Eddy commemorated her: "I’m so sorry to hear this. Denise was one of my favourite people. One of the most giving, loving and gentle people I’ve met.

"I’m sending prayers and peace to her family and those who loved her."

Another fan added on Twitter: "#RIP actress Denise Dowse, 64; she impressed on 'Beverly Hills, 90210,' 'Ray,' 'Coach Carter' and 'Insecure,' but it was the stage that really fired her up."


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