'True Blood's' Nelsan Ellis dies at 39


MIAMI – Nelsan Ellis, the actor known for his role of Lafayette Reynolds on the HBO series "True Blood," died of complications with heart failure, according to his manager. He was 39. 

HBO released a statement on Saturday saying that his "groundbreaking portrayal of Lafayette will be remembered fondly within the overall legacy of 'True Blood.'"

"True Blood" creator Alan Ball also released a statement.

"Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me," Ball said. 

The Julliard School graduate also played roles in "The Butler," "Secretariat," "The Help," "The Stanford Prison Experiment" and "Get On Up." Ellis was playing a role as a detective in the CBS series "Elementary." 

"My heart breaks for his kids and family," actress Octavia Spencer wrote on Instagram

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