Comedic actress Natalie Desselle-Reid has died after a private battle with cancer, TMZ reports. She was 53.
A family member told TMZ that Natalie was diagnosed with colon cancer earlier this year, and was in hospice care in the days leading up to her death. She passed away on Monday, surrounded by family.
In a statement, they told TMZ, "It is with extremely heavy hearts that we share the loss of our beautiful Natalie this morning. She was a bright light in this world. A queen. An extraordinary mother and wife."
One of her most famous roles was alongside Halle Berry in the 1997 film “B*A*P*S.” Berry shared an Instagram video of the pair hugging and wrote, “i’m in total shock. completely heartbroken. gonna need a minute.”
Halle followed up with a second post, saying in part, “@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.”
She continued, "Natalie taught us love, joy and humor through her characters - she could never dim her light, and it was infectious. With her I laughed harder than I’d ever laughed before. She showed us it was ok to be goofy and funny while still being sincere and extraordinarily kind. She and I would hoot and holler over every #BAPS tribute we came across, sending them back and forth to one another, overwhelmed that our on screen friendship meant as much to you as it did to us. She was especially humbled by that, as am I.” Read her full tribute here.
Holly Robinson Peete also paid tribute to Desselle-Reid on Twitter, writing, "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🙏🏽.”
Natalie was known for such movies as “Set It Off” (1996) and “Madea’s Big Happy Family” (2011), and the TV series “Built to Last” (1997), “For Your Love” (1998-2000), and “Eve” (2003-2006). She also starred in the 1997 TV movie “Cinderella” as evil stepsister Minerva.
She is survived by her husband, Leonard Reid, and three children.
The heartbreaking news comes just months after Hollywood lost Chadwick Boseman, who died in August, also following a secret battle with colon cancer.