Tuesday 22 August 2017

True Blood star Nelsan Ellis - better known as Lafayette Reynold - has died aged 39

Nelsan Ellis (True Blood/HBO)
Nelsan Ellis (True Blood/HBO)

Joe Nerssessian

True Blood star Nelsan Ellis has died aged 39, his manager has confirmed.

The actor, best known for portraying Lafayette Reynolds in the popular HBO series, passed away after complications with heart failure.

His manager Emily Gerson Saines confirmed the news to the Press Association.

She had earlier told US website The Hollywood Reporter: "Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure.

"He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed."

Ellis appeared in True Blood throughout its seven-series run after first appearing as the cook at Merlotte's Grill in 2008.

He also had roles in The Help in 2011 and most recently appeared in CBS show Elementary.

Among those paying tribute to Ellis were his True Blood co-stars Aisha Hinds, Michael McMillian, Lauren Bowles and Kristin Bauer.

Bauer wrote on Instagram: "One of the sweetest most talented men I've ever met. A terrible loss for all of us. Rest In Peace Nelsan. You will be missed. I don't know how else to put words to this terribly sad news…"

McMillan said he was "stunned, devastated by the terrible news" in a post on Twitter.

He added Ellis was a "genius and a beautiful soul".

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