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‘True Blood’ Star Nelsan Ellis Dies at 39 'Not Lafayette!!'

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Nelsan Ellis famous for his role as Lafayette Reynolds on HBO’s “True Blood” — has passed away at age 39, Variety can confirm.

The actor died after complications from heart failure.

“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.”

“True Blood” creator and executive producer Alan Ball echoed HBO’s epitaph in a statement of his own. “Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me,” said Ball. “Working with him was a privilege.”

Ellis’ “The Help” costar Octavia Spencer broke the news on Instagram Saturday morning, saying, “Just got word that we lost (Nelsan). My heart breaks for his kids and family.”

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Posted · Report post

I was just about to post this .....damn he didnt live to see 40 :(

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Posted · Report post

Such sad news to hear as soon as I get off work. I wonder was his heart condition hereditary or just something he acquired. I know his son is devastated :(

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Posted · Report post

Such a talented artist and actor. He will be missed.

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Posted · Report post

um True story, so when "True Blood" began Nelsan was cast to play Lafayette, a minor character in the books that dies very early on. The producers of "True Blood" liked Nelsan's personality and acting so much they made him a mainstay of the series, and he stayed on until the very last episode.

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