Daily Mail reported the news that Nelsan Ellis, the actor who charmed fans as the sassy Lafayette Reynolds in HBO’s True Blood, has died, according to his manager, Emily Gerson Saines, who confirmed the death of the 39-year-old actor to the Hollywood Reporter.
‘Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure,’ Saines said.
‘He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed.’
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Ellis was easily a fan favorite with his performance of Lafayette – a vibrant short order cook a the bar Merlotte’s – to the point that show writers chose to keep him throughout the series which went against the books where he is killed off.
‘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 added: ‘Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege.’
Along with True Blood, Ellis also appeared in The Soloist, The Help, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Get on Up, Elementary and had even finished a movie True to the Game.