American actress Natalie Desselle Reid, who found fame alongside costar Halle Berry in the 1997 comedy film B.A.P.S., passed away on Monday (December 7), after a private battle with colon cancer.
She was 53 and transitioned surrounded by her family.
In an official statement on her Instagram page, the family of the actress hailed her as a warm, dynamic woman and asked for the public’s understanding in this difficult time.
“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’s death was especially hard for Halle Berry, who called her costar a sweet friend.
“[H]eartbroken. [I] will love her and her memory my whole life. May God bless her family and beautiful children. [R]est softly my sweet friend,” she wrote on Instagram.
“I’m in total shock… completely heartbroken. gonna need a minute,” Halle Berry added on Twitter.
B.A.P.S., an adaptation of the hugely successful live-action Cinderella by Rodgers & Hammerstein, released in 1997, was a cult classic despite critics slamming the movie.
Desselle also appeared in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, alongside Brandy, Whitney Houston, Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg and Bernadette Peter.
After a brief hiatus, Desselle returned to television to play the character Janie Egins in sitcom Eve from 2003 to 2006.
Several Hollywood celebrities including costar Eve, Bow Wow and Taraji P Henson offered their condolences to the Desselle family as fans remember the actress in thousands of social media tributes.
Desselle is survived by her husband Leonard Reid and their three children.