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Nelsan Ellis, Lafayette on ‘True Blood,’ Dead at 39

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Nelsan Ellis, who portrayed Lafayette on all seven seasons of the HBO horror-drama series . “He was an excellent skill, and his words and existence will be forever missed out on.”

“We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis,” HBO stated in a statement. “Nelsan was a long-time member of the HBO household whose cutting-edge portrayal of Lafayette will be remembered fondly within the total legacy of True Blood. Nelsan will be dearly missed by his fans and all people at HBO.”

Real Blood creator Alan Ball included, “Nelsan was a particular talent whose imagination never ever ceased to impress me. Dealing with him was an advantage.”

A graduate of Julliard, Ellis’ very first significant role was as Lafayette Reynolds, a brief order cook and vampire blood dealership on the hit HBO series. Ellis’ portrayal of the character was so beloved by True Blood fans of the series that although Lafayette was exterminated early in the Sookie Stackhouse book series, the character lasted the whole of the show.In addition to Real Blood, Ellis appeared Lee Daniels’ The Butler (as Martin Luther King, Jr.), Secretariat, The Assistance, The Stanford Jail Experiment and as vocalist Bobby Byrd in the James Brown biopic Get On Up. Most just recently, Ellis had a returning function in the CBS detective series Elementary.

Actress Octavis Spencer composed on social media Saturday,”Just got word that we lost [Ellis] My heart breaks for his kids and family.”

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