Actor Nelsan Ellis, dead at 39
Nelsan Ellis, the young actor best known for his break-out role as Lafayette on the popular HBO series “True Blood,” has died, due to complications from heart failure, according to his manager.
Ellis, who has acted in a number of motion pictures over the years, including “Get on Up,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and “The Help,” earned a devoted following with his portrayal of Lafayette, a poor, flamboyantly gay short-order cook, and part-time hustler, with an endearingly direct personal style and take-no-prisoners attitude, on HBO’s signature fantasy series.
His most unique portrayal was considered groundbreaking, and the character Lafayette, only scheduled for the first season (they planned to kill him off) remained for the entire series, to become the most popular character on the show.
Former cast members from True Blood, and other productions Ellis has worked on over the years, expressed high praise for the talented actor, and their deep sense of loss at his passing.
Ellis is survived by his son Breon, his father Tommie Lee Thompson, his seven siblings, and his grandmother Alex Brown.