Halle Berry took a moment today to pay homage to Natalie Desselle Reid following the devastating news of her death.

In an emotional tribute posted to social media, Berry stated, “Natalie was one of the most precious people I’ve ever known.” The actress starred alongside Desselle Reid in the Black cult classic comedy B.A.P.S., which Robert Townsend directed.

Berry posted a series of photos of Desselle-Reid, writing that Townsend “facilitated our divine connection by uniting us in roles that would change our lives and impact our culture for generations to come.”

“The second I met her our hearts [were] intertwined — we had a connection that was simply unexplainable, and she stayed her same sweet self all the years I knew her,” Berry said of her costar.

She continued, “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.”

Besides B.A.P.S., Desselle-Reid appeared in several other projects, including Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family and the UPN sitcom Eve. Her death is not only a loss for Black Hollywood, but also Black culture.

“Natalie represented actual black women, not what black women are perceived to be,” Berry continued. “For that she was often underrated, passed over – deprived of the platform she truly deserved.

Reid passed away at age 53 after a secret battle with colon cancer. She is survived by her husband, Leonard Reid, whom she married in 2003, and three children.

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