A family member who spoke with TMZ shared that Desselle-Reid lost her battle with colon cancer and was in hospice in her final days.
The news was confirmed on her official Instagram account.
“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,” the post read.
Friend and fellow actress Holly Robinson Peete also shared the stunning news in a tweet.
“Just absolutely decimated by this news… Actress Natalie Desselle, a bright shining star passed away this morning. 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,” she wrote.
Desselle-Reid solidified her acting chops with a multitude of roles during her career which spanned over 30 years. She received roles in a variety of Black films and television shows, including “B.A.P.S.,” “How to Be a Player,” Tyler Perry’s “Madea’s Big Happy Family” and “Cinderella” alongside singer Brandy. On the small screen she made appearances in “Built to Last,” “For Your Love,” and the UPN series, “Eve.”
But it was her role as “Mickey” in “B.A.P.S.,” the companion to Berry’s “Nisi” who proved she would not be subjugated to the typical sidekick standard given to Black, voluptuous women in Hollywood. The two created a cultural classic, which is evident in the fashions and styles used in music and art today.
Last week Berry shared a throwback video showing her and Desselle-Reid on a behind-the-scenes shoot during the movie’s filming.
Our condolences go out to her family and friends who are undoubtedly hurting in this time.