If you are a ‘True Blood’ fan you are probably stunned with the latest and sad news that Nelsan Ellis has passed away due to heart failure.
The series of ‘True Blood’ revolves mainly around Anna Paquin’s character of ‘Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress living in Louisiana, two years after the invention of synthetic blood that has vampires coming out of coffins and making their presence known to humans.
Nelsan Ellis played the character of the sassy and gay, short order cook, Lafayette Reynolds, on HBO’s ‘True Blood’.
Emily Gerson Saines, Ellis’ manager recently stated,
‘Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure. He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed.’
An HBO representative stated,
“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.”
In addition, Alan Ball, the creator of ‘True Blood’ stated,
“Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege.”
Fellow actor, Anna Paquin wrote,
‘It was an utter privilege to work with the phenomenally talented and deeply kind soul @OfficialNeslan I’m devastated by his untimely death.’
Nelsan Ellis was born southwest of Chicago in Harvey, Illinois. He and his siblings moved to Alabama when he was young to live with his aunt. Ellis later moved back to Chicago when he was 15 years old. He ended up graduating from Thornridge High School in Dolton, Illinois.
By the time he was 17, Ellis joined the Marines, but quickly left that commitment and moved on to study at Illinois State University. He went on to the famous Julliard in New York and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
“The studies were so intense and the institution is so white, and I’m a black man from the South with a very specific vernacular and palate. I felt like an alien, and I struggled the first couple of years. But it transformed who I am as an actor and a person.”
Nelsan Ellis played the role that defined his career — a gay short order cook Lafayette Reynolds on the HBO series ‘True Blood’.
Ellis once stated,
“I have more makeup on than any of the females in the (True Blood) cast. Once they get me with the fake eyelashes and the eye makeup, I listen to some Rihanna and I’m there.”
Nelsan Ellis was on HBO’s ‘True Blood’ for 80 episodes and 7 season. He walked away after such awards as:
Two Satellite Awards, an Ewwy for best supporting dramatic actor, and a NewNowNext Award for actor on the brink of fame.
Other actors expressed their shock on Twitter and social media.
Stephen Moyer, who played the character, Bill Compton on ‘True Blood’ stated,
“Nelsan Ellis was truly remarkable. A brilliant, charismatic, intelligent, soulful, wonderful dude. This is just completely tragic.’
In addition, ‘True Blood’ star Joe Mangiello stated,
“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.”
Nelsan Ellis was truly an amazing actor. Prayers to his family and friends and especially his costars from HBO’s ‘True Blood’.