Natalie Desselle-Reid, the comedic actress best known for her roles in Eve and B*A*P*S, has died after battling cancer. She was 53.
Desselle-Reid’s manager, Dolores Robinson, confirmed the news on Twitter, writing, “Natalie Desselle the beautiful talented actress passed away this morning. Natalie was a bright light. She was an amazing actress and comedienne but also an awesome mother & wife.”
“It is with extremely heavy hearts that we share the loss of our beautiful Natalie this morning,” reads a statement. “She was a bright light in this world. A queen. An extraordinary mother and wife.”
Desselle-Reid was well-known for her role opposite Halle Berry in the 1997 movie B*A*P*S. She was also known for playing Janie Egins on the sitcom Eve, and for playing Tammy in Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family.
Many might also remember Desselle-Reid’s appearance in the 1997 made-for-TV Cinderella reimagining, where she played evil step-sister Minerva opposite Brandy.
Tributes poured into social media, with industry players honoring her memory.
Desselle-Reid’s B*A*P*S co-star Halle Berry posted her response, writing, “I’m in total shock… completely heartbroken. gonna need a minute.”
“I reached out to Natalie Desselle-Reid exactly one year ago to book her for Strong Black Legends. She was one of the most requested guests. She didn’t respond (I assumed she wanted privacy). But hopefully, she knows that we considered her a LEGEND,” wrote Netflix exec @JasmynBeKnowing.
“When I was a kid, I watched BAPS just so i could see Natalie Desselle Reid, and when my school put on Cinderella, i auditioned because of her performance, too. I wanted to be as confident and funny and pretty as she was growing up (still want gold teeth lol). RIP Natalie Desselle,” wrote @thatjaynay.