True Blood Star Nelsan Ellis Dies at 39

US actor Nelsan Ellis, who starred in the popular HBO series True Blood, has died aged 39, his manager confirms his death.

Nelsan Ellis, best known for playing the flamboyant Lafayette Reynolds in the horror-drama series, died after complications from heart failure.

“He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed,” his manager Emily Gerson Saines told the Hollywood Reporter.

Ellis appeared in True Blood from 2008 until the series ended in 2014.

“We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis,” HBO said in a statement on Saturday.

“Nelsan was a long-time member of the HBO family whose groundbreaking portrayal of Lafayette will be remembered fondly,” the statement added.

True Blood Star Nelsan Ellis Dies at 39

Ellis appeared regularly throughout the series of True Blood after first appearing as the cook at a local restaurant in 2008. He played the role of Lafayette, a charismatic gay medium who was able to contact ghosts.

He also featured alongside Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer in the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s novel The Help in 2011.

Ellis is survived by his grandmother Alex Brown, his father Tommie Lee Thompson and his son Breon, along with seven siblings.

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