Nelsan Ellis, who was best known for his role on “True Blood”, has died at the age of 39….
Nelsan Ellis — best known for his memorable role as Lafayette Reynolds on the HBO series “True Blood” — has passed away. He was 39 years old.
“Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure,” his manager Emily Gerson Saines said on Saturday. “He was a great talent and his words and presence will be forever missed.”
Ellis was a breakout star during the first season of “True Blood” playing the short order cook at Merlotte’s bar and grill. In fact, Ellis’ portrayal was so strong and well received that he survived past the first season despite his character actually dying in the original book by author Charlaine Harris.
In addition to “True Blood”, Nelsan had also starred in several other series such as “Elementary”, “Veronica Mars” as well as film roles such as “The Help” and “The Butler”.
Numerous co-stars from “True Blood” paid tribute to Ellis on social media following news of his passing on Saturday.
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
Unbelievably sad news. Nelsan was such a sweet, gentle soul with an enormous talent. He will be missed greatly RIP https://t.co/NDdoaeM6Pj
— MichaelRaymond-James (@MRaymondJames) July 8, 2017
Very disturbed and sad that Nelsan Ellis has died. Such a huge talent. Such a wonderful man. The world is a poorer place today…
— Denis O'Hare (@denisohare) July 8, 2017
— Deborah Ann Woll (@DeborahAnnWoll) 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 @nelsanellisofficial made the transition from body to spirit. Fuck this one really got me. This was truly the only person from #TrueBlood I consistently stayed in touch with and was a friend through it all. You all know him as an amazing actor, a light on the screen with an unparalleled bravery and talent. But I knew him as a good dude, with an easy laugh and ready to problem solve at a moment's notice. Last we spoke he was considering going to law school. Forever an inspiration Mr. Ellis. #ripnelsanellis
My heart is broken today over the loss of @OfficialNelsan I was in complete awe of your talent and so honored to have known your kindness.
— Anna Camp (@TheRealAnnaCamp) July 8, 2017
I don't know if I've ever seen the level of humility and kindness that came with the Magnificent Talent that Nelsan Ellis had. Miss u friend
— Sam Trammell (@SamTrammell) July 8, 2017
I am so sad about the death of Nelsan Ellis, a great talent gone too soon. Such a shock. 💔
— Charlaine Harris (@RealCharlaine) July 8, 2017