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 Posted:   May 14, 2021 - 12:32 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Natalie Desselle Reid, the comedy actress who starred opposite Halle Berry in the 1997 movie 'B.A.P.S.' and had a recurring role on the UPN sitcom 'Eve,' died late last year. She was 53.

 Posted:   May 14, 2021 - 1:07 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Natalie Desselle Reid made her feature film debut in the 1996 crime drama SET IT OFF. The film follows four Black women who are just scraping by, with no leeway and little opportunity for advancement. “Frankie Sutton” (Vivica A. Fox), a teller at a downtown bank, has the most prospects, but when a thug she knows from her neighborhood robs the branch—leaving several dead—Frankie is unjustly fired for possible "collusion" with the robber. To make ends meet, she takes a job working at Luther Janitorial with her three best friends. “Tisean ‘T.T.’ Williams” (Kimberly Elise) is a young single mother, “Cleopatra ‘Cleo’ Sims” (Queen Latifah) is a trash talking lesbian who lives in an abandoned garage with her lover, and “Lita ‘Stoney’ Newsom” (Jada Pinkett) is trying desperately to scrape together the cash to send her younger brother “Stevie” (Chaz Lemar Shepherd) to UCLA. When T.T.'s child gets taken away by social services and Stoney's brother gets murdered by the cops—who mistake him a little too coincidentally for the aforementioned bank robber—the four women hatch a plan to take something back from the system that so royally screwed them over. Donning wigs and sunglasses, and toting guns courtesy of arms-dealer “Black Sam” (Dr. Dre), they begin to hit up area banks. Natalie Desselle Reid has a small role as “Tanika.”

F. Gary Gray directed the film. Christopher Young’s score was released by Varese Sarabande, while East West Records released a CD of songs. The $9 million production was a hit at the box office, with a $41 million worldwide gross.

 Posted:   May 14, 2021 - 2:00 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In B*A*P*S, two tacky homegirls, “Nisi” (Halle Berry) and “Mickey” (Natalie Desselle Reid), move to L.A. to become dancers. Instead, they scam dying millionaire “Donald Blakemore” (Martin Landau) and eventually become Black American Princesses.

Natalie Desselle Reid, Martin Landau, and Halle Berry in B*A*P*S

Robert Townsend directed this 1997 comedy. Stanley Clarke’s score split the space on the Milan soundtrack CD with 7 songs. The film generated average box office returns of $7.3 million.

 Posted:   May 15, 2021 - 12:46 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Disney’s 1997 made-for-television version of CINDERELLA had a diverse cast, with “Brandy Norwood” as “Cinderella,” Bernadette Peters as her Stepmother, and Veanne Cox and Natalie Desselle Reid as her stepsisters “Calliope” and “Minerva.” The show also starred Paolo Montalbán as the prince, Whoopi Goldberg as the queen, Victor Garber as the king, and Jason Alexander as “Lionel,” the herald.

Natalie Desselle Reid, Veanne Cox, and Bernadette Peters in CINDERELLA

Robert Iscove directed the film, which aired on ABC on 2 November 1997. This musical version of the story used the score composed by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II for the 1957 television production with Julie Andrews. Several songs were added from other Richard Rodgers shows. No soundtrack album was released.

 Posted:   May 15, 2021 - 12:25 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The television sitcom “Eve” revolved around Miami fashion designer “Shelly Williams” (rapper Eve), a woman whose fashion career is on the move but whose love life is a work in progress. At the start of the series, Shelly has been unable to find a suitable partner for ten months. She begins an on and off relationship with physical therapist “J.T. Hunter” (Jason George), which is nearly derailed when he cries while they watch CASABLANCA on their first date. Both characters turn to two of their close friends for advice on the opposite sex, love, and relationships. Shelly frequently looks for advice from former model “Rita Lefleur” (Ali Landry Monteverde) and married friend “Janie Egins” (Natalie Desselle Reid), while J.T. finds support in his best friends, nightclub manager “Donovan Brink” (Sean Maguire), and IRS worker “Nick Dalaney” (Brian Hooks).

The series premiered on the United Paramount Network (UPN) on 15 September 2003. “Eve” suffered low total viewership in spite of its high ratings among young African-American women; it was canceled following UPN's merger with the WB Television Network to launch the CW network in 2006. The series ran for three seasons and 66 episodes.

The cast of “Eve” (clockwise, from upper left): Jason George, Natalie Desselle Reid, Ali Landry Monteverde, Sean Maguire, Brian Hooks, and Eve

 Posted:   May 16, 2021 - 1:12 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Natalie Desselle Reid’s career is a study in the ups and downs of acting. The acting bug bit her after a starring role in Grambling University's production of "Bubbling Brown Sugar." After several productions as a thespian, she decided to move to Los Angeles and test the waters. Realizing Hollywood was not aware of her "arrival" she became a receptionist, a soul food waitress and lastly a tank mechanic at McDonnell Douglas.

Her break came when Robi Reed cast her in F. Gary Gray's SET IT OFF which led to a guest starring role on television's "Family Matters". After her initial foray into Hollywood, she found herself "down and out" in Inglewood, California, and then the "call" came. The role that established her as a comedic thespian, aka "the funny chick," was in Robert Townsend's B.A.P.S, starring opposite the luminous Halle Berry. A 20-year career followed, but one that ended too soon.

with Ronald Perry

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