Credit: Everett Collection


Halle Berry is mourning the "devastating" loss of her B.A.P.S costar Natalie Desselle-Reid, who died Monday of colon cancer at age 53.

In a statement posted on Instagram, Berry honored Desselle-Reid's memory and reminisced about their "divine connection" working on the 1997 cult comedy movie.

"I'm still processing this devastating news — and as I continue to read all of your kind words, memories of Natalie continue to flood back to me," the actress shared in the post, along with throwback photos of the two together.

"[Robert Townsend] 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," Berry wrote. "Natalie was one of the most precious people I've ever known. The second I met her our hearts here intertwined — we had a connection that was simply, unexplainable and she stayed her same sweet self all the years I knew her.

"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," Berry added. "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 went on to praise Desselle-Reid's talent, saying, "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," Berry concluded. "And my heart is with her entire family, especially with Leonard, Sereno, Summer and Sasha. I'll love you forever my sweet friend. ima miss you Nat Dog !"

Desselle-Reed made her film debut with 1996's Set It Off, and also appeared in Madea's Big Happy Family, the TV movie Cinderella, ER, and the UPN series Eve.

The actress' passing was announced by her For Your Love costar Holly Robinson Peete, who called her "a bright shining star." 

After news of Desselle-Reid's passing first broke, Berry tweeted that she was "in total shock... completely heartbroken. gonna need a minute."

Days earlier, she had shared a clip of her and Desselle-Reid during the filming of B.A.P.S back in 1996.

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