'Natalie Represented Actual Black Women': Halle Berry Pens Moving Tribute to BAPS Co-star Natalie Desselle Reid

Illustration for article titled Natalie Represented Actual Black Women: Halle Berry Pens Moving Tribute to iBAPS/i Co-star Natalie Desselle Reid
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

Just days before the unexpected death of actress Natalie Desselle Reid, Halle Berry shared a video of her and her B.A.P.S. co-star strolling shoulder-to-shoulder Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. The pair were filming a bit for the 1997 cult classic, gold teeth gleaming and giggling into the camera.

“Let’s find Tiffany,” Berry captioned the throwback post.

Less than a week later, Berry shared a very different remembrance of the 53-year-old actress, who died Monday morning from colon cancer.

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Sharing a series of photos of Desselle Reid on her Instagram account, Berry said she was “still processing the devastating news” of her death.

“As I continue to read all of your kind words, memories of Natalie continue to flood back to me,” she continued, noting the “love, joy and humor” the actress brought to her characters.

“She could never dim her light, and it was infectious,” Berry continued. “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.”

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Berry noted how the two actresses would share B.A.P.S. tributes with each other, adding that they were “overwhelmed” that their on-screen friendship could resonate with so many. But the 54-year-old Hollywood actress also took the opportunity to tell some hard truths about the entertainment industry—and point out Desselle Reid’s special significance to the Black community.

“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,” Berry said.

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Desselle Reid appeared in a number of other iconic films, including Set It Off,  Madea’s Big Happy Family, Cinderella and Def Jam’s How to Be a Player. But despite her formidable talents, particularly as a comedic actress, her career didn’t take off in the same way Berry’s did after filming B.A.P.S.

“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 said. “I’ll love you forever my sweet friend.”

Staff writer, The Root.

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