Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling celebrated the life of actor and friend Denise Dowse.
In the actors’ latest episode of their “90210MG” podcast, the two paid tribute to Dowse and reminisced about working with her while on “Beverly Hills, 90210.” Dowse portrayed vice principal Mrs. Yvonne Teasley throughout the series' 10 season run from 1990 to 2000.
Dowse died over the weekend after a battle with meningitis left her in a coma. She was 64. Spelling and Garth said they were “so shocked” to learn about her death, expressing that it “came out of nowhere.”
"It’s unbelievable to me and I can’t imagine how devastated her family is, her sister, everyone who knew her. It’s just shocking news,” Garth said. “These kinds of deaths are the hardest, I think.”
The ladies reflected on their time on set with Dowse, with Garth saying, “There was just something about Denise that was so easy. She was like your oldest friend, and she would show up on set and she would be in a scene and it was so natural being around her and working with her.”
Spelling added, “100%. I can still remember her smile.” She also recalled her “first big scene” with Dowse, when her character, Donna, had a learning disability. Spelling remembered being “so nervous” to do a big dramatic scene but Dowse “was so easy to work with and so encouraging.”
“She always gave the best hugs on set,” she said, with Garth calling her “a warm, kind woman... It’s a terrible loss for a lot, a lot of people that worked with her, knew her, loved her and her family.”
On Sunday, Dowse’s sister, Tracey, confirmed in an Instagram post that the actor died.
“Beverly Hills, 90210” star Ian Ziering, who shared many scenes with Dowse while starring on the show as Steve Sanders, shared a photo of the actor as Mrs. Teasley on his Instagram.
“So heartbreaking to say Denise Dowse has passed away,” he began. “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.”
“Some of my heartiest off camera laughs were between she and I hammering out the discipline her Mrs. Teasley would dish out to my Steve Sanders,” he added. “My sincere condolences to her family, and all others who she was dear to. God bless you Denise, pay forward that Legacy Key.”
During the podcast, Garth touched on Ziering’s post, saying, “It would be accurate to … say that he worked with her probably the most because Steve was always getting into trouble at school.”
The actors then watched a couple of Dowse’s memorable “90210” scenes, including her first appearance. Dowse’s final appearance on the show was in the finale when the they celebrated Donna and David’s (Brian Austin Green) wedding.
Garth and Spelling also took calls from fans sharing their favorite Mrs. T stories.
“I feel like Steve and Mrs. T went on to be friends throughout their lives,” one person mentioned, with Garth agreeing and adding, “She’s the grandma to (Steve’s) kids.”
Aside from "Beverly Hills, 90210," Dowse also appeared on “Charmed,” “Insecure,” “The Resident,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Built to Last,” “Secrets & Lies,” “Imposters,” and films “Ray,” “Coach Carter,” “Pleasantville” and “Requiem for a Dream.”
Most recently she played Detective Trina McWilliams in the film “A Cloud So High.” Her directorial debut, “Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story,” is currently in post-production.