‘True Blood’ Actor Nelsan Ellis Dead at 39
Actor Nelsan Ellis, perhaps most known for his role as Lafayette Reynolds on True Blood, has passed away. He was 39.
Variety confirms that the HBO star died after suffering complications from heart failure.
“We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis,” HBO issued in a statement on Saturday, July 7. “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.”
Alan Ball, creator and executive producer of True Blood, paid tribute to Ellis with his own statement, writing, “Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege.”
A fan favorite on vampire drama series True Blood, Ellis was beloved for his inclusive role as gay cook Lafayette.
Ellis also appeared in shows and films including The Inside, Veronica Mars, The Help, Get On Up, The Butler and The Standford Prison Experiment.
The actor is survived by his father, grandmother and his son, Breon.
On social media, co-stars and celebrities shared their condolences for Ellis. See some reactions, below:
— Anna Paquin (@AnnaPaquin) July 8, 2017
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) July 8, 2017
wow rest in peace nelsan ellis. a great and underrated actor.
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) July 8, 2017
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) July 8, 2017
So blessed to share the screen with you you beautiful man. pic.twitter.com/DCD6WLAdJn
— Todd Lowe (@Todd__Lowe) July 8, 2017
Just got word that we lost @nelsanellisofficial. My heart breaks for his kids and family. #RIPNelsanEllis. #brillIantactor #trueblood #getonup #thesoloist #thehelp. The first time I met him was on the set of the soloist and we were at rehearsal with a lot of the homeless cast members, and Nelsan was playing our counselor. He walked in wearing a pair of fitted camo cargo pants, a pristine white tshirt, a beret, and a denim jacket. Needless to say he was gorgeous, sexy. But his talent had me speechless. We became instant friends after that. He was sooooo funny. I miss him. #nelsanellis
Crushed today by the loss of my friend and castmate Nelsan Ellis. He was a wonderful person, a pioneer, and a one of a kind artist. RIP pic.twitter.com/fvtquhIac7
— Joe Manganiello (@JoeManganiello) July 8, 2017
— Deborah Ann Woll (@DeborahAnnWoll) July 8, 2017
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