Born in Alexandria, Louisiana on July 12, 1967, the actress got her start in college theatre before moving on to the big screen. In B*A*P*S, Desselle Reid played Mickey, a waitress in Georgia who, along with her friend Nisi (Berry), end up taking care of a Beverly Hills millionaire and become the titular “Black American Princesses.” That same year, she appeared in Cinderella as evil stepsister Minerva and on the NBC sitcom Built To Last. She also was beloved for her roles in Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family, Def Jam's How to Be a Player, and appeared in three seasons of Eve as Eve’s friend Janie Egins from 2003 to 2006.
On the morning of December 7, her manager, Dolores Robinson, and actress Holly Robinson Peete revealed her passing on Twitter.
"Natalie was a bright light. She was an amazing actress and comedienne but also an awesome mother & wife," wrote Robinson.
Robinson Peete, who got to know Desselle Reid when her mother was managing her, said that that she felt “absolutely decimated" by the news. "She will be so missed … sending out prayers to her children and husband,” she wrote.
Desselle Reid's Instagram account also confirmed the news: "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. Naturally, we are grieving and processing this profound loss and we thank you in advance for respecting our privacy at this extremely difficult time."
Berry expressed her surprise and sadness on Twitter, writing, "I’m in total shock... completely heartbroken. gonna need a minute. #RIP @NatalieDesselle"
Desselle Ried is survived by her husband, Leonard, and her three children: Sereno, Summer and Sasha.