The news of actress Natalie Desselle-Reid passing away at the age of 53 sent shockwaves throughout much of Hollywood yesterday. Halle Berry, her co-star in the 1997 cult classic B.A.P.S., initially made a brief statement on social media but has now posted an emotional, powerful tribute.
Berry reflected on the first meeting during B.A.P.S., which was directed by Robert Townsend posting, “@iamroberttownsend facilitated our divine connection by uniting us in roles that would change our lives and impact our culture for generations to come. I am forever grateful for that moment. Natalie was one of the most precious people I’ve ever known. The second I met her our hearts were intertwined. We had a connection that was simply unexplainable, and she stayed her same sweet self all the years I knew her.”
Berry added she “laughed harder than I’d ever laughed before” but also explained how Natalie Desselle-Reid was not embraced in Hollywood like she should have been.
“Natalie represented actual black women, not what black women are perceived to be. For that she was often underrated, passed over - deprived of the platform she truly deserved. But her light continues to shine through the people who grew up watching her, the people who knew her best and those of us who loved her.”
Berry closed with, “Above all, she was a daughter, wife, friend and mother ; and my heart is with her entire family, especially with Leonard, Sereno, Summer and Sasha. I’ll love you forever my sweet friend. ima miss you Nat Dog!”
See the post below:
Desselle-Reid’s manager Dolores Robinson confirmed the actress’ death via social media on Monday (Dec. 7) revealing she passed away from colon cancer.
Robinson wrote on Instagram, "It is with extremely heavy hearts that we share the loss of our beautiful Natalie this morning from colon cancer. She was a bright light in this world. A queen. An extraordinary mother and wife. Her diverse career touched so many and she will be loved forever. Naturally, we are grieving and processing this profound loss and we thank you in advance for respecting our privacy at this extremely difficult time.”
Desselle-Reid was also known for her roles in Def Jam’s How to Be a Player, the 1997 version of Cinderella starring Brandy, Tyler Perry’s Madea's Big Happy Family and more.
According to PEOPLE, she is survived by her husband, Leonard, and children Sereno, Summer and Sasha.