Natalie Desselle-Reid, star of B.A.P.S and Cinderella, dies at 53
Natalie Desselle-Reid, star of film and TV projects like B.A.P.S and Eve, has died at age 53.
A statement posted on her Instagram page confirms she died Monday morning. A family member told TMZ she died of colon cancer, after being diagnosed earlier this year.
Desselle-Reid was born in Alexandria, La. in 1967. Having spent her childhood there, she then went to college at Grambling State, one of Louisiana’s historically Black universities.
Building upon her acting talents in college, she booked her first TV role and movie role in the same year in Family Matters and Set It Off respectively, two projects with predominantly Black casts that have stood the test of time.
Her first leading role would come a year later in 1997, starring in the cult classic B.A.P.S opposite Halle Berry. While the film was polarizing upon arrival, Desselle-Reid’s character Mickey is widely considered one of the first plus size comedic leads in a mainstream film that has a significant romantic storyline.
Desselle-Reid would go on to more TV projects after that, having a supporting role in the beloved Cinderella TV movie that starred Brandy and Whitney Houston, plus series regular roles on shows like Built to Last, For Your Love, and Eve.
In the last decade, she has returned to more film work, most notably starring in the Tyler Perry film Madea’s Big Happy Family.
Her death was first announced on Twitter by her For Your Love costar Holly Robinson Peete who called her “a bright shining star.”
The statement shared on Desselle-Reid's Instagram described her as "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," the statement continued, "and we thank you in advance for respecting our privacy at this extremely difficult time.”
She is survived by her spouse, Leonard Reid, and their three children.