Natalie Desselle Reid is said to have secretly battled colon cancer before her tragic death.
The actress has died at the age of 53, a statement on her Instagram page confirmed.
But it’s now said that she has lost her battle with colon cancer, and that she kept the fact she had been diagnosed with the disease a secret from her fans.
A family member told TMZ that Natalie was diagnosed earlier this year.
The site reports that Natalie spent her final days in a hospice and that she was surrounded by her loved ones when she died.
The official statement reads: “It is with extremely heavy hearts that we share the loss of our beautiful Natalie this morning. 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.”
The star was best known for her roles in comedy films B.A.P.S, in which she starred alongside Halle Berry, and How To Be A Player, in which she starred with Bernie Mac.
Her manager Dolores Robinson paid tribute, writing on Twitter : “Natalie Desselle the beautiful talented actress passed away this morning.
“Natalie was a bright light. She was an amazing actress and comedienne but also an awesome mother & wife.
“Sending prayers to her family. I had the pleasure of managing her career.”
Actress Holly Robinson Peete also paid tribute, tweeting: “Just absolutely decimated by this news…Actress Natalie Desselle, a bright shining star passed away this morning.
“I got to know her when my mom was managing her. She will be so missed…sending out prayers to her children and husband. Rest In Peace, Sweet Girl.
Fans will also remember her from Brandy’s version of Cinderella as well as TV shows Built To Last, For Your Love and Eve.
Natalie’s fans rushed to pay tribute after hearing of her death.
One penned: “So sad to hear this…prayers and comfort to everyone that knew Natalie.”
Another wrote: “Natalie Desselle Reid was one of the first actresses I saw bringing a powerhouse and personality packed performance into a song, refreshing an old school musical. Rest in Power”
A third tweeted: “Woooow rip to Natalie Desselle Reid 🙁 she was everything in BAPS and Cinderella”
A Netflix executive shared: “I reached out to Natalie Desselle-Reid exactly one year ago to book her for Strong Black Legends. She was one of the most requested guests. She didn’t respond (I assumed she wanted privacy). But hopefully, she knows that we considered her a LEGEND”