Tue Blood Star Nelsan Ellis Passwed Away At Age 39

Ellis Was A Memorable Character For All True-Blood Fans Out There, He Will Surely Be Missed.

‘True Blood’ star Nelsan Ellis, died Saturday at age 39 due to complications a from heart failure. The actor landed different roles throughout his career but jumped to stardom with his role as Lafayette Reynolds on HBO’s ‘True Blood.’

Afer learning the sad news, fans and friends took social media to pay heartfelt tribute to the late actor.

I was too soon for Nelsan

Nelsan Ellis, best known for his role as Lafayette Reynolds on HBO‘s ‘True Blood’, has died at age 39.

Recalled by many as talented and underrated, Ellis became a ‘True Blood’ fan-favorite for his portrayal of the scene-stealing, gay cook at Merlotte’s Bar in the fictional Louisiana town. Though the character did not survive in the books, Ellis’s memorable portrayal of Lafayette kept him in the series

Ellis’s character was lauded for breaking stereotypes of gay men. In a 2010 interview with Vibe, Ellis described how the character was likable.

“Even I was watching myself and criticizing myself — I go, ‘I like that dude,’” he said. “The most intriguing thing about him is his strength and his stillness. If you watch Lafayette, he doesn’t do very much. He’s not quick on his toes unless he gets heated.”

“He’s just in that Southern way — sort of sauntering along, being who he is, which is something I never intended. It just happened,” he added.

Ellis won a Satellite Award in 2008 for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his ‘True Blood’ character. He and the rest of the cast won the Satellite Award for Best Ensemble in 2009. In the same year, Ellis won the “Brink of Fame” award for up-and-coming actors at the NewNowNext Awards.

Via Variety

Remembering Nelsan and paying tribute

Ellis was born in Harvey, Ill. in 1977 before he and his siblings moved to Alabama.

He eventually moved back to Chicago at age 15, and joined the Marines briefly at the age of 17. He studied at Illinois State University before getting his BFA at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City.

While at Juilliard, he won the Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award for his semi-autobiographical play ‘Ugly.’Ellis recently appeared on CBS’ ‘Elementary’ as Shinwell Johnson, who featured throughout season 5. The character died on the show in May.

The actor also landed TV roles on ‘Veronica Mars’ and ‘Without a Trace’, as well as in films like ‘The Soloist’, ‘Secretariat’, ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’, and ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’.

Fans and friends took to social media to express heartfelt tributes to Nelsan.

Source: EW

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