Nelsan Ellis, who memorably played Lafayette on True Blood, passed away this weekend. His manager, Emily Gerson Saines, revealed the 39-year-old actor died after complications with heart failure. HBO released a statement about his untimely death.
“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.”
Ellis’ other acting credits include television shows Veronica Mars and Without A Trace, along with feature films The Help and Lee Daniels’ The Butler. He most recently completed an arc on Elementary.
Naturally, his True Blood castmates were particularly shaken by the news of his shocking death. Several took to social media to express their loss. Read a few of them below.
— Anna Paquin (@AnnaPaquin) July 8, 2017
Nelsan Ellis was truly remarkable. A brilliant, charismatic, intelligent, soulful, wonderful dude. this is just completely tragic.
— Stephen Moyer (@smoyer) July 8, 2017
Crushed today by the loss of my friend and castmate Nelsan Ellis. He was a wonderful person, a pioneer, and a one of a kind artist. RIP pic.twitter.com/fvtquhIac7
— Joe Manganiello (@JoeManganiello) July 8, 2017
I don't know if I've ever seen the level of humility and kindness that came with the Magnificent Talent that Nelsan Ellis had. Miss u friend
— Sam Trammell (@SamTrammell) July 8, 2017
— Deborah Ann Woll (@DeborahAnnWoll) July 8, 2017
One of the sweetest most talented men I've ever met. A terrible loss for all of us. Rest In… https://t.co/PgiUMuVzaZ
— Kristin Bauer (@BauervanStraten) July 8, 2017
— Kevin Alejandro (@kevinmalejandro) July 8, 2017
— Lauren Bowles (@LaurenEBowles) July 8, 2017
So blessed to share the screen with you you beautiful man. pic.twitter.com/DCD6WLAdJn
— Todd Lowe (@Todd__Lowe) July 8, 2017
— Mariana Klaveno (@MarianaKlaveno) July 8, 2017
Loved Ellis on the show. He provided much-needed comic relief. He will me missed. Our condolences go out to his friends and family.