Della Reese Bids Farewell to John Dye: 'He Was My Angel Boy' (Exclusive)

Della Reese and John Dye

'He's in a place where whatever was not right for him is now right for him,' the 'Touched By an Angel' star tells THR of the deceased actor.

Della Reese says that she, Roma Downey and John Dye were very much "a family unit" during CBS' long-running series Touched by an Angel.

But that family suffered a heavy loss with Dye's death at age 47 this week.

"Roma, John and I were a family unit. We worked together every day for seven years," Reese tells The Hollywood Reporter. "We acted like a family. We lived like a family. I felt what he felt."

"He was my Angel Boy, that's what I called him."

The actor died from a heart attack Monday at his home in San Francisco.

Reese says she spoke to Dye's parents to comfort them in this difficult time. In 2002, Reese's own 42-year-old daughter, Deloreese Daniels Owens, died.

"You're not supposed to bury your children, your children are supposed to bury you," she says. "My daughter made her transition. I told them you don't get over it, you adjust to live with it. This is not a time when anyone can help you."

Despite the loss, Reese believes Dye is in "a place where whatever was not right for him is now right for him."

"I am disappointed greatly that he didn't have a chance to finish a marvelous life," says Reese. "He certainly deserved it."