It's a sad day in Hollywood, namely the TV industry. News broke on Saturday, July 8 that actor Nelsan Ellis died at age 39, as first announced by The Hollywood Reporter. Fans may be wondering how Nelsan Ellis died, and the answer is undeniably tragic. His manager told THR that the True Blood star passed away from complications due to heart failure. The statement read, "He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed."
While he boasted a wide range of acting gigs, Ellis is best known for playing Lafayette Reynolds on True Blood. The dynamic HBO character was unapologetically himself, which was powerful to witness. Lafayette was a gay short-order cook and medium, whose sexuality was part of the show, but did not pigeonhole him by any means. And in the wake of Ellis' death, tributes to the beloved character have been popping up all over social media.
Beyond the HBO series, Ellis starred on shows like Elementary, as Shinwell Johnson, and The Inside as Carter Howard. Fans may also remember his appearances in The Help and an episode of Veronica Mars. Several of his former co-stars have taken to social media to remember Ellis, ranging from True Blood castmates (Joe Manganiello, Anna Camp, and more) to Riz Ahmed (who appeared with him in The Reluctant Fundamentalist).
There's no denying that Ellis is gone too soon, but his talent will live on forever. He's already sorely missed by fans and celebrities alike.