Halle Berry posted a tribute to her former co-star Natalie Desselle Reid on Instagram Tuesday, writing “Natalie was one of the most precious people I’ve ever known.”
When news first broke that Desselle Reid had died Monday following a battle with colon cancer, Berry shared a GIF from the 1997 film B.A.P.S. (an acronym for Black American Princesses) showing the two actresses hugging with the caption “I’m in total shock. Completely heartbroken. Gonna need a minute. #RIP @nataliedessellereid.”
The Oscar-winning star then posted a longer photo tribute, reflecting on their time on-set and talked about how Desselle Reid represented an authentic version of Black women in Hollywood.
“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. She showed us it was OK to be goofy and funny while still being sincere and extraordinarily kind,” the Monster’s Ball actress wrote.
“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 added. “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.”
Berry ended the post by writing, “I’ll love you forever my sweet friend. I’ma miss you Nat Dog!”
Berry and Desselle Reid co-starred in the comedy from director Robert Townsend and writer Troy Byer. The film centered on two waitresses Nisi (Berry) and Mickey (Desselle Reid) from Georgia who head to Los Angeles with hopes of attaining the money they need to open a mix of a soul food restaurant with a hair salon.
Although the comedy only earned $7.3 million worldwide, and critics such as Roger Ebert gave it 0 stars, the film has become a classic with fans.
Instagram user @lucki_charmss responded on Berry’s post: “BAPS is an all time favorite of mine. So this touched us all.”
Instagram user @call_him_x.o commented on the post: “I quote yalls iconic lines atleast 10 times a day…without even knowing sometimes”.
Celebrities including Janelle Monáe, Arsenio Hall, and Naomi Campbell also responded to Berry’s post.
Desselle Reid is survived by her husband, Leonard, and three children, Sereno 9, Summer 3 and Sasha 1. She was 53.
The image above of B.A.P.S. is courtesy New Line Cinema.