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Is Denise Dowse OK? 'Insecure' star in coma amid battle with severe form of meningitis

'Her doctors do not know when she will come out of the coma as it was not medically induced,' Denise's sister said
UPDATED AUG 10, 2022
A virulent form of meningitis has put actress Denise Dowse in coma (Dowse in movie 'Ray'/IMdb and @denisedowse/Instagram)
A virulent form of meningitis has put actress Denise Dowse in coma (Dowse in movie 'Ray'/IMdb and @denisedowse/Instagram)

Actress Denise Dowse, popularly known for her roles in 'Ray', 'Insecure', 'Beverly Hills, 90210' and many more, is battling with her life after a virulent form of meningitis put her in a coma. Tracey Dowse, Denise's sister, shared the news on Instagram requesting support and prayers for the 'Beverly Hills, 90210' alum. "I am requesting support and prayers be offered me and my sister @denisedowse," she wrote.

Denise, 64, "is currently in the hospital in a coma brought on by a virulent form of meningitis. Her doctors do not know when she will come out of the coma as it was not medically induced", Tracey wrote in her post. Talking to Page Six Tracey said, “We are hopeful that she will come out of this soon,” noting that her sister “is still in a coma.” However, it remains unclear when Denise's health problems started. 


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What is Meningitis?

The swelling of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord is known as meningitis. The inflammation is typically caused by a bacterial or viral infection of the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain cord, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though injuries, cancer, drugs, and other types of infections can also cause meningitis.

According to Medical News Today, only in extreme situations does a person with meningitis experience enough neurological damage to cause a coma, and the chances that this will occur as a result of bacterial or viral meningitis are exceptionally low. 


Tracey mentioned in her message to her followers that her posts are usually "positive and uplifting," and that she was doing her best to keep her spirits up. Denise is "a vibrant actor and director with many years ahead of her," according to her sister. "Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and support."

Tracee Ellis Ross was among the many social media users who inundated the post with words of encouragement. “May the universe send all it can muster and then more to heal,” the 'Black-ish' star commented. “Sending prayers and love and more love to this force of a woman who has poured so much love into so many.” Actress Erica Gimpel wrote, "Sending strong prayers your dear sister Denise, who is also an incredible artist, who has inspired me by her incredible work on stage… her love of the work emanates through her pours.. and such a dear person. I hope you and Denise can feel all the love, prayers and support that are surrounding you! Peace". 

A user commented, "Lifting her name up to the SUN!! Praying for her complete healing ✨". While another wrote, "May God’s healing power touch Ms. Denise. She had encouraged me throughout the years, even before I moved to LA. Her support and belief in me I will never forget. I am trusting for a healthy and whole recovery."

Denise's list of work

In addition to playing Mrs Yvonne Teasley on '90210' for 10 years, Denise’s long list of acting credits also includes 'Insecure,' 'Grey’s Anatomy,' 'The X-Files,' 'Criminal Minds,' 'Bones', 'House,' 'Monk,' 'Law & Order,' 'Gilmore Girls,' 'Charmed,' 'The Bernie Mac Show,' 'Nip/Tuck,' 'Moesha,' 'Sister, Sister,' 'ER,' 'Step by Step,' 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer,' 'Seinfeld' and 'Full House' — among others. She has also worked as a voice-over artist for Nickelodeon cartoon characters in both 'Rocket Power' and 'Rugrats.'

Tracey, on the other hand, told Page Six that she is most proud of 'Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story,' a Denise-directed biographical drama that premiered in April at the 2022 Pan African Film Festival. “She has won several best director awards at this year’s film festivals,” Tracey said.