Natalie Desselle-Reid, who starred opposite Halle Berry in 1997’s ‘B.A.P.S.,’ has passed away. As her fans and family mourn the loss of this star, here’s what you need to know.
The world of ‘90s comedy lost a star on Dec. 7. Natalie Desselle-Reid, who lit up the silver screen in films like B.A.P.S. and Def Jam’s How To Be A Player, and shared the small screen with Brandy and Eve, passed away on Monday. Her official Instagram account confirmed Natalie’s death. “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. 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.”
The exact cause of death has not been confirmed, but TMZ reports she passed after a battle with colon cancer and that she was diagnosed with the disease earlier this year. Natalie, per TMZ, was in hospice care and surrounded by her family when she died. The news affected many, including her fellow actress and friend, Holly Robinson Pete. “Just absolutely decimated by this news…Actress Natalie Desselle, a bright shining star passed away this morning,” she tweeted. “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.” Halle Berry, her B.A.P.S. co-star, tweeted that she was “in total shock” and “completely heartbroken” by losing her co-star and friend.
— Halle Berry (@halleberry) December 7, 2020
1.) She was an actress from Louisiana. Natalie was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, according to her IMDB profile. She graduated from Peabody Magnet High School and attended Grambling State University. After the acting bug bit her, she decided to pursue her dreams by moving to Los Angeles. After working some menial jobs to pay the bills, she finally experienced her big break.
2.) She’s shared the screen with Brandy, Eve, and Steve Urkel. Natalie’s big break came when she was cast on an episode of Family Matters, playing the character “Baby Girl” in 1996’s “My Big Brother.” From there, her career took off, landing roles in the previously mentioned B.A.P.S and How To Be A Player, and on TV series like NBC’s short-lived Built To Last, The WB’s For Your Love (which starred Holly Robinson Peete), and Eve’s self-title UPN sitcom. Fans of fairy tales may also remember her playing Mievera, one of the wicked stepsisters to Brandy’s Cinderella in the 1997 TV musical. It also featured Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Alexander, and the late, great Whitney Houston.
3.) Natalie Desselle-Reid is best known for B.A.P.S. and Madea’s Big Happy Family. Natalie’s career continued following Eve’s cancelation in 2006. She landed a handful of parts, including Tammy in Madea’s Big Happy Family in 2011 and Delores LaFontaine in 2014’s Zoe Gone. However, none of these parts would match the impact and legacy of B.A.P.S.
“Halle made me feel just as good as her,” Natalie said, per Comedy Hype. “She was like, ‘no, this movie is about two people. It’s not about me. You’re just as special and beautiful as me.’ And that’s what allowed me to be in front of her and be free to do what I needed to do. Everybody doesn’t give you that.”
Natalie would write in 2016 that she turned down roles because she was “waiting patiently for the right role written just for me.” She revealed that she had been offered parts but felt that they made fun of her figure, and she didn’t feel comfortable making her weight – and herself – the butt of anyone’s joke.
4.) She had good taste. Natalie didn’t post a lot on her Instagram account, but many of her posts show her making some healthy, homemade food. She wrote in 2016 that she stopped drinking soda, and she stopped eating food like “chocolate cake,” “pork skins,” and rice. She also appeared on a 2015 episode of The Chew to share her whole-wheat pita pizzas recipe.
5.) She will be missed. In February, Natalie announced that she was taking part in B.A.P.S Live, a touring stage-production based on the movie. She gave a few updates on the production in the weeks passed and memorials to Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Chadwick Boseman, and others. Natalie’s last post came on Dec. 6. “Sunday is the perfect day to refuel your soul and be grateful for each and every one of your blessings,” she posted. “Remember, you are Blessed!” she added.
Natalie is survived by her husband and her three children.