By Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D, NNPA Newswire Entertainment and Culture Editor
Fans everywhere are mourning the loss of actress Natalie Desselle Reid, 53, who passed away December 7 after a quiet battle with colon cancer. Reid, who is best remembered for her breakout role as Mickey in the 1997 comedy B.A.P.S. Desselle Reid starred opposite Oscar winners Halle Berry (Nisi) and Martin Landau (Mr. Donald Blakemore) as Mickey, a gregarious Southern transplant intent on swindling Blakemore out of his money along with her best friend Nisi.
The Louisiana native and Grambling University graduate had a steady career in film and television appearing in television series Built to Last, For Your Love and Eve. Film roles included the role of Jenny in fan favorite How to Be a Player (1997). Desselle Reid played Drayton Jackson’s (Bill Bellamy) annoying sister, who was out to thwart her big brother’s romantic games. In recent years, Desselle Reid starred in Tyler Perry’s video and film Madea’s Big Happy Family as Tammy, a sharp-tongued mother and wife who returns home at her dying mother’s behest.
Friends, colleagues and fans shared their grief over Desselle Reid’s death on social media. Delores Robinson, who managed Desselle Reid’s career, made the announcement of the beloved character actress’ death on Twitter.
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.
Sending prayers to her family.
I had the pleasure of managing her career.
— DoloresRobinson (@DoloresRobinson) December 7, 2020
Robinson is the mother of Holly Robinson Peete, the actress who co-starred with Desselle Reid on the television series For Your Love. Robinson Peete paid homage to Desselle Reid on Twitter, offering condolences to Desselle’s family.
Lenny🙏🏽 We are all lifting you and your family in prayer. Thank you for loving her so well. 💔❤️ https://t.co/eP2M9qoHZe
— Holly Robinson Peete😷🥰 (@hollyrpeete) December 7, 2020
Halle Berry joined Robinson in remembering Desselle with a series of Tweets after initially tweeting, “I’m in total shock…completely heartbroken, gonna need a minute. #RIP @NatalieDesselle. Rapper-actress-talk show host Eve and ER’s Jason Winston George, who starred with Desselle Reid on the television series Eve, also paid homage to Desselle.
Effortlessly hilarious, inherently empathetic,
Natalie was instantly every woman’s girlfriend and every guy’s sister
— Jason Winston George (@JasonWGeorge) December 7, 2020
Perhaps the most poignant remembrance is from Desselle Reid’s husband Lenny.
My Black Queen, our Black Queen I remember telling you how stunning you looked this night. With sympathy, words can’t wipe away my tears. Hugs won’t ease my pain. But i shall hold on to our memories. Forever they’ll remain.#RIPBlackQueen.- LR pic.twitter.com/S1DdSly5TR
— Natalie Desselle (@NatalieDesselle) December 7, 2020
Desselle Reid, who died shortly after being diagnosed with colon cancer, is survived by her husband and three children. Rest in peace.