True Blood actor Nelsan Ellis dies at 39

Nelsan most popular for portraying gay short order cook HBO series True Blood, died after complications with heart failure on Sunday morning

Nelsan Ellis, best known for portraying Lafayette Reynolds in the popular HBO series True Blood, died after complications with heart failure on Sunday morning. He was 39

Ellis appeared in True Blood throughout its seven years, his first appearance being as a gay short order cook at Merlotte’s Grill in 2008.

He also had roles in The Help in 2011 and has most recently appeared in CBS show Elementary.

Born in Harvey, Illinois, Ellis attended Thornridge high school, where he credited teachers with instilling in him a love of theatre

True Blood co-star Kristin Bauer wrote “One of the sweetest most talented men I’ve ever met. A terrible loss for all of us. Rest in Peace Nelsan. You will be missed. I don’t know how else to put words to this terribly sad news..”