In an extensive Instagram post dedicated to the life of the late actress, Berry expressed her grief over the news.
“I’m still processing this devastating news – and as I continue to read all of your kind words, memories of Natalie continue to flood back to me,” Berry wrote.
She noted that Desselle Reid might not have received the fame and credit that she deserved as a Black actress, she had accomplished more than enough to merit respect for her achievements.
“Natalie represented actual black women, not what black women are perceived to be,” Berry said. “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 lauded writer and director Robert Townsend for “facilitiating” their “divine connection” by casting them in roles “that would change our lives and impact our culture for generations to come.”
The star also expanded on the deep bond she said developed between the two, fostering a friendship that would endure for years.
“Natalie was one of the most precious people I’ve ever known, Berry said. “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 recalled memories of Desselle Reid as a bright, effervescent woman whose cheerfulness and humor was contagious
“Natalie taught us love, joy and humor through her characters – she could never dim her light, and it was infectious,” Berry explained. “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.”
“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 was especially humbled by that, as am I,” Berry continued.
She ended by sending her love and support to Desselle Reid’s family, mentioning that, “Above all, she was a daughter, wife, friend and mother ; and my heart is with her entire family, especially with Leonard, Sereno, Summer and Sasha. I’ll love you forever my sweet friend. Ima miss you Nat Dog!”
Upon news of Desselle Reid’s death being made public, Berry initially tweeted that she was “In total shock… completely heartbroken. Gonna need a minute.”
Just a few days before Desselle Reid’s death, Berry had posted a throwback clip from 1996 of herself and her co-star on the set of “B.A.P.S.”
Desselle Reid’s first film appearance was in “Set It Off,” and she also went on to star in “Madea’s Big Happy Family” and UPN’s “Eve.”