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Nelsan Ellis Of "True Blood" Fame Dies At 39

Nelsan Ellis at the "Get On Up" premiere in 2014. (Photo by Jemal Countess / Getty Images)
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Nelsan Ellis, most known for playing Lafayette Reynolds on HBO's True Blood, passed away at age 39 after complications from a heart failure. Octavia Spencer announced the news via Instagram Saturday morning. His manager, Emily Gerson Saines, confirmed the news with The Hollywood Reporter.

Ellis passed away after complications around heart failure, according to Saines. HBO released a statement following his death, saying,

"We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis. 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."

Alan Ball, the creator of True Blood, told the Hollywood Reporter that "Nelsan was a singular talent" and "[w]orking with him was a privilege." Ellis also had roles in Elementary, Get On Up, Lee Daniels' The Butler, and The Help.

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