Halle Berry Pays Emotional Tribute to Natalie Desselle-Reid: 'I'll Love You Forever My Sweet Friend'
"Natalie was one of the most precious people I've ever known," Halle Berry, who starred with Natalie Desselle-Reid in B.A.P.S., said in a statement shared on Twitter
In an emotional tribute shared on Twitter Monday evening, Berry, 54, said that she is "still processing" the "devastating news" of the Cinderella actress' death.
"Natalie was one of the most precious people I've ever known," wrote Berry, who said she met Desselle-Reid through actor and director Robert Townsend. Both Berry and Desselle-Reid starred in the cult classic comedy B.A.P.S., which Townsend, 63, directed.
"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," Berry said of her costar.
Desselle-Reid was also known for her roles in the UPN series Eve (2003-2006), the 1997 retelling of Cinderella, starring Brandy and Whitney Houston, and Madea's Big Happy Family (2001).
Berry continued in her post that through her characters, Desselle-Reid taught "love, joy and humor," adding that her friend "could never dim her light, and it was infectious."
"With her I laughed harder than I'd ever laughed before," Berry recalled. "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."
Berry continued: "Natalie represented actual black women, not what black women are perceived to be. For that she was often underrated, passed over — deprived of the platform she truly deserved. But her light continues to shine through the people who grew up watching her, the people who knew her best and those of us who loved her."
"Above all, she was a daughter, wife, friend and mother; and my heart is with her entire family, especially with Leonard, Sereno, Summer and Sasha," Berry concluded, referring to Desselle-Reid's husband and children. "I'll love you forever my sweet friend. ima miss you Nat Dog!"
Desselle-Reid's death was announced on her Instagram account on Monday.
"It is with extremely heavy hearts that we share the loss of our beautiful Natalie this morning from colon cancer," the caption of the post read. "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. 🙏🏽💔"