Denise DuBarry — an actress who appeared on shows like ‘CHiPs,’ ‘The Love Boat,’ and ‘Charlie’s Angels’ before becoming a film industry leader — passed away after battling a fungal infection. As her fans mourn, here’s what we know about her.
Dubbed a “renaissance woman” by the Desert Sun, Denise DuBarry, 63, passed away at the UCLA Medical Center on March 23, after “batting a deadly fungus.” The type of fungus or the exact cause of death, at the time of this post’s publication, remains unknown. However, upon further examination of Denise’s life, it becomes evident that she leaves behind a legacy that extends beyond her IMDB profile. While her name might be well-known as contemporaries like Erik Estrada, 70, and Farrah Fawcett, here’s why the world is mourning the loss of Denise today.
1. She was an actress, best known for her roles in the late 70s and 80s. Denise began her career as an actress, appearing in eight episodes of Black Sheep Squadron (aka Baa Baa Black Sheep, a two-season World War II adventure series.) From there, she landed roles in TV movies like The Darker Side of Terror, Flying High and Top of The Hill. However, as an actress, she may be remembered best for her appearances on CHiPs, The Love Boat, and on a pair of episodes of Charlie’s Angels. After a brief hiatus from acting, she returned in 1990 by landing a role as Twyla/Linda Caffrey on Days of Our Lives. Her last credit is a role is that in a romantic comedy starring William Shatner called Senior Moment.
2. She was an entrepreneur. Denise was the founder and president of the Palm Springs Women In Film and Television, a nonprofit aiming to “empower, promote and nurture women and men involved in the entertainment, communication, and media industries.” It helped set up the Coachella Valley as a film industry hub separate and unique from the LA area.
“For me, she was like a very classy businesswoman,” film producer Kim Waltrip told the Desert Sun. “She was ahead of her time in terms of women supporting women. She always supported women. She was an entrepreneur and she was kind to everyone. She was super-ambitious and always supportive of everything everybody did.”
3. She was also a direct marketing dynamo. She and Bill Hay founded Thane International in 1990 after Denise produced an infomercial in 1987 for a video titled, “Play the Piano Overnight.” It became, as the NY Daily News put it, “of one of the leading global direct response companies.” After selling Thane International, the Hays started Kaswit, Inc., an incubator for home and health products. In addition to that, Denise owned a vocational rental company, a pair of yoga studios, an organic restaurant and their son, Adam Hay, ran an organic turmeric farm in Hawaii.
4. Denise also helped out the less fortunate. “I got her involved in Olive Crest,” Kim Waltrip told the Desert Sun. Denise was appointed to the board of the nonprofit, one that strives to help abused and at-risk children. “[S]he donated money for those houses (for the children)When Denise gets involved, she goes all-in and she hosted fundraisers at her house. She just made sure Olive Crest had everything it needed.”
5. She was recognized for her efforts. “In 1998, she was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year,” reports the Desert Sun, “and in 2000 Response Magazine included her in its list of the “21 People Leading Us Into the 21st Century.’
“She always had just a huge heart and soul, but she also had a really keen business sense,” former Congresswoman and friend of more than 30 years, Mary Bono, said. “She was just brilliant and she could see future business ideas long before anybody else could. She just had the ability to create things. She’s one of the kindest people at all times — under duress — and always had a positive and encouraging word for everybody at any time.”
Denise married Bill in 1992. She was previously married to 2001: A Space Odyssey star Gary Lockwood from 1982 to 1988. She is survived by her two children and two grandchildren.