Actor Nelsan Ellis Passes Away At 39
Very sad news. Nelsan Ellis, well known for his role as Lafayette Reynolds on HBO’s “True Blood”, passed away on Saturday, July 8th. The actor reportedly died after complications from heart failure. He was 39. HBO said in a statement,
We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis. 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 and executive producer Alan Ball also shared in a statement.
Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege.
Nelsan will co-star in the upcoming film, True To The Game, which will be released this fall. Imani Entertainment, the company who produced the film, has released the following statement,
Imani Motion Pictures would like to formally extend their deepest condolences to the family and friends of the late Nelsan Ellis. Nelsan Ellis was a classically trained actor that impacted the world with his talent. From commanding the attention as a fan favorite on HBO’s True Blood to becoming family to us as a primary star of our upcoming film, True To The Game. Nelsan was a consummate professional who the True To The Game Family was proud to not only call colleague but friend. He will be sorely missed. Much Love and Light.
Ellis is survived by his grandmother, his father, and his son, Breon, as well as seven siblings.
Viola Davis, who was close to Nelsan, shared her condolences on social media, along with many others in Hollywood.
He was like my son. Heartbroken. You took a piece of my heart with you. pic.twitter.com/jrh4vLDtDd
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) July 9, 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