Nelsan Ellis Dies; True Blood Star Was Only 39

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Nobody is going to contradict this statement:

Lafayette Reynolds was one of the most memorable and lovable characters on HBO's True Blood.

Nelsan Ellis, who brought him to life in remarkable fashion, has passed away at the age of 39, according to a brief report on The Hollywood Reporter.

Nelsan Ellis

As testament to the beauty of Ellis' craft and charisma as an actor, the character of Lafayette died in the books written by Charlaine Harris, but lived on during the HBO series merely because of what he did with the material.

Fans around the world will never forget the magic he created with Lafayette.

THR received a statement from Ellis' manager, Emily Gerson Saines:

"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."

N Ellis

HBO, too, has taken time to address the talented passing of Ellis.

"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."

Alan Ball said: "Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege."

EllisNelsan

Most recently, Ellis had a recurring role as Shinwell Johnson on Elementary.

Shinwell was a Sherlock Holmes literary canon character described as colorful and somewhat dubious. In other words, exactly in Ellis' wheelhouse.

Ellis has completed a movie titled True to the Game in which he starred with Vivica A. Fox with an expected release date of September 8, 2017.

Ellis is survived by his son, Breon, his grandmother, his father and his siblings.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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True Blood Quotes

Sookie, it is not your blood I love. I love you. Your heart, your mind, your soul... you have brought light back into my life.

Bill

Sookie: Doing this? For the last six hours?!
Eric: You seemed surprised. Is Bill's stamina not enough?

True Blood Music

  Song Artist
Good behaviour Good Behaviour Powersolo iTunes
Pistol whip me Pistol Whip Me Acumen Nation iTunes
Crazed country rebel Crazed Country Rebel Hank Williams III iTunes