Natalie Desselle-Reid, the actress, widely known for her roles in B.A.P.S. and Eve, died on Monday morning after a private battle with colon cancer.
Natalie’s family posted an official statement on the comedic actor’s Instagram page.
“It is with extremely heavy hearts that we share the loss of our beautiful Natalie this morning,” the statement read. “She was a bright light in this world. A queen. An extraordinary mother and wife.”
Reactions from Hollywood poured in, including a post from her B.A.P.S. co-star, Halle Berry. Natalie was most known as Berry’s sidekick Mickey in the comedic movie.
“I’m in total shock,” Berry captioned in an Instagram post under an image of the two from the movie. “Completely heartbroken. Gonna need a minute. #RIP”
Just days before Natalie’s death, Berry posted a throwback video of them from the movie, saying in the post, “Let’s find Tiffany.”
— Halle Berry (@halleberry) December 3, 2020
In February, Natalie announced that she was working with stage playwright Je’Caryous Johnson to bring the live adaptation of the film to stage.
“This project is for my real B.A.P.S. fans, I am BEYOND EXHILARATED to be able to bring B.A.P.S. to the stage,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “I can’t even begin to tell you! Thank you DYNASTY Holder @troybyer for laying this foundation down years ago. @jecaryous thank you for this opportunity you are a blessing. Special thanks to Meaghan, you are my B.A.P.S! And I am taking the stage with the beautiful and talented Jasmin Brown @watchjazzy! I can’t wait to electrify the stage and create nonstop hilarity with you LIVE! Go and get your tickets NOW at bapsliveonstage.com to unlock the presale code. Can’t wait to see y’all there! Booyow!”
Je’Caryous posted on the loss of the actress on Instagram saying, “JJE Family mourns the loss of our own actress/ comedian Natalie Desselle-Reid swipe ⬅️ ➡️ #restinpeace #forevermissed #baps#bapslive”
Natalie later starred as Janie Egins, alongside rapper and actress Eve, on the sitcom Eve for three years.
As with many other actors in Black Hollywood, she became part of the Tyler Perry-franchise when she starred as Tammy in Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family. Her co-star from the movie, rapper and actor Bow Wow, tweeted about her passing, saying, “Sending my love and condolences out to Natalie Desselle’s family. Had the pleasure of working with her on Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family sending my love.”
Sending my love and condolences out to Natalie Desselle family. Had the pleasure of working with her on Tyler Perrys “Madea Big Happy Family” sending my love ? ❤️ pic.twitter.com/9pLaVEEJzI
— Bow Wow (@smoss) December 7, 2020
Born on July 12, 1967, in Alexandria, Louisiana, Natalie would first develop her love for acting when she attended H.B.C.U. Grambling State University. At Grambling, she developed a deep interest in theatre and appeared in several productions at the school. After school, Natalie embarked on her acting career in Hollywood, and Holly Robinson Peete‘s mom became her first manager.
Peete commented on her friend’s passing, recalling the actress’s start in Hollywood.
“Just absolutely decimated by this news,” Robinson Peete tweeted. “Actress Natalie Desselle, a bright shining star, passed away this morning. I got to know her when my mom was managing her. She will be so missed…sending out prayers to her children and husband. Rest In Peace, Sweet Girl.”
Just absolutely decimated by this news…
Actress Natalie Desselle, a bright shining star passed away this morning. I got to know her when my mom was managing her.
She will be so missed…sending out prayers to her children and husband.
Rest In Peace, Sweet Girl?? pic.twitter.com/BsyltHxKRG
— Holly Robinson Peete?? (@hollyrpeete) December 7, 2020
The actress’s other film credits include How to Be a Player, Set It Off, and the made-for-TV movie Cinderella. Among her other T.V. roles, Natalie starred in For Your Love and Built to Last.
Natalie Desselle-Reid leaves behind her husband, Leonard, and three children. She was 53.
Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.