Denise DuBarry Hay
Denise DuBarry Hay. Image for her Twitter account

Denise DuBarry Hay, who worked to build a film industry in the Coachella Valley, has died after battling a deadly fungus, it was reported Monday. She was 63.

DuBarry Hay died at UCLA Medical Center Saturday afternoon, her husband, Bill Hay, told the Desert Sun.

DuBarry Hay, who began her career as an actress in such TV series as “Black Sheep Squadron” and “CHiPs,” and the Oscar-winning film, “Being There,” made a greater mark in business, co-founding one of the leading global direct response companies, Thane International, with her third husband, Bill Hay, in their adopted hometown of La Quinta, according to the Desert Sun.

In 1998, she was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and in 2000 Response Magazine included her in its list of the “21 People Leading Us Into the 21st Century.”

DuBarry Hay also was a leading philanthropist in the Coachella Valley who was especially involved in the Olive Crest nonprofit for abused and at-risk children, according to the Sun.

Film producer Kim Waltrip, who recruited her to the Olive Crest board, said she had been aware of DuBarry Hay’s health concerns for the past two months, but it didn’t temper the shock of when she received the news via text message.

“I fell through the floor,” Waltrip said. “How is this possible?

“For me, she was like a very classy businesswoman. 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. I got her involved in Olive Crest and she 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.”

DuBarry Hay was a founder and president of the Palm Springs Women in Film and Television, and helped to distinguish the Coachella Valley as a separate film market from the Inland Empire for location talent scouts and producers shooting movies. She executive produced and acted in a recent movie screened at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, “Walk to Vegas,” produced by Waltrip.

Besides her husband and son, Adam, DuBarry Hay is survived by her parents Pete DuBarry and Betty DuBarry Stein and her other children, actress Samantha Lockwood of Honolulu, Kyle Hay of Orange County, and Whitney Hay, a USC student. She has three sisters who live in the Coachella Valley, Audrey Walter, Diana DuBarry and Suzanne DuBarry, and two grandchildren.

Bill Hay said a private celebration of life will be held in April.

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