Nelsan Ellis, best known for starring Lafayette Reynolds in the popular HBO series True Blood, has died at the age of 39, his manager confirmed.
The actor died after complications from heart failure.
“He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed,” his manager Emily Gerson Saines told the Hollywood Reporter.
Nelsan Ellis appeared in True Blood from 2008 until the series ended in 2014.
HBO said in a statement on July 8: “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.”
Nelsan Ellis appeared regularly throughout the series of True Blood after first appearing as the cook at a local restaurant in 2008. He played the role of Lafayette Reynolds, a charismatic gay medium who was able to contact ghosts.
The actor also featured alongside Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer in the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s novel The Help in 2011.
Nelsan Ellis is survived by his grandmother Alex Brown, his father Tommie Lee Thompson and his son Breon, along with seven siblings.