True Blood Star Nelsan Ellis Dies, Aged 39
Posted 2017/07/09 0 0
The actor, who was undoubtedly best known for his role as Lafayette Reynolds in the HBO drama, has died aged 39, his manager has confirmed.
Nelsan Ellis, who portrayed Lafayette on all seven seasons of the HBO horror-drama series True Blood, has died at the age of 39.
"Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure," the actor's manager Emily Gerson Saines, told the Hollywood Reporter. "He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed."
On True Blood, Lafayette was a short order cook at Merlotte's. In the books, he was killed off, but because Ellis made him such an enjoyable character, he survived in the series.
"We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis," HBO said in a statement. "Nelsan was a long-time member of the HBO family whose groundbreaking portrayal of Lafayette will be remembered fondly within the overall legacy of True Blood. Nelsan will be dearly missed by his fans and all of us at HBO."
True Blood creator, Alan Ball said: "Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege."
Among those paying tribute to Ellis were his True Blood co-stars Aisha Hinds, Michael McMillian, Lauren Bowles and Kristin Bauer.
Bauer wrote on Instagram: "One of the sweetest most talented men I've ever met. A terrible loss for all of us. Rest In Peace Nelsan. You will be missed. I don't know how else to put words to this terribly sad news..."
McMillan said he was "stunned, devastated by the terrible news" in a post on Twitter.
He added Ellis was a "genius and a beautiful soul".
In addition to True Blood, Ellis appeared Lee Daniels' The Butler (as Martin Luther King, Jr.), Secretariat, The Help, The Stanford Prison Experiment and as singer Bobby Byrd in the James Brown biopic Get On Up. Most recently, Ellis had a reoccurring role in the CBS detective series Elementary.