Her family confirmed to CNN Sunday that actress and director Dennis Dawes, whose prolific career has been marked by roles in “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Insecure” and “Ray,” has died. She was 64 years old.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce her death,” the actress’s sister, Tracy Dawes, said in a statement.
She also announced the death of her sister on the actress’s Instagram account, remembered her as a defender of the African American theater, and also dedicated to sharing the profession with children. Dowse has starred and directed the Negro Ensemble Company and directed plays for the Amazing Grace Conservatory, a Theatrical training program for youth within the city.
Dawes is best known for her role as Ms. Yvonne Tesley on the hit series “Beverly Hills, 90210” and most recently appeared on the HBO comedy series “Insecure” as a therapist for Molly Carter (Yvonne Orji). In addition to acting roles in dozens of films and television series, Dowse has also directed films, including “Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story,” which premiered in April at the Pan African Film Festival.
“I’m so proud to be her sister,” Tracy Dawes told CNN. “She lit up the stage and screen. She knew how to dance through life and see joy. Something we can all learn from.”
Sandra Segal, director of Dose, remembered her client and friend in a statement on Sunday.
“I am saddened by the loss of the brilliantly talented, beautiful, elegant, eloquent and loving Denise, who has had the joy and blessing of managing and collaborating in her career of over 25 years, as well as a personal friendship. I am confused, but have gained so much from my knowledge of her. Dennis’ legacy and memory will live on forever. Because it really touched a lot,” Segal said.
Throughout her decades-long career, Dawes has appeared in several TV series, including “Charmed,” “Girlfriends,” “The West Wing,” and “Law and Order.” She has also had roles in films like Pleasantville and Requiem for a Dream, according to her IMDB profile.
“Communicator. Music aficionado. Certified bacon trailblazer. Travel advocate. Subtly charming social media fanatic.”