True Blood star Nelsan Ellis dies aged 39

Actor Nelsan Ellis, best known for his role as Lafayette on the HBO vampire drama True Blood, has passed away over the weekend.

Ellis’ manager told The Hollywood Reporter the actor had died due to complications from heart failure.

Tributes have been flowing from co-workers, fans and supporters online following the shocking news.

True Blood creator and openly gay director Alan Ball described Ellis as a “singular talent.”

“[His] creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege.”

Besides his breakout role as the gay short-order cook and psychic medium in True Blood, Ellis had also appeared as Shinwell Johnson in CBS’ Elementary, and had even taken a seat on the judging panel of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

OIP Staff


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