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Ellis was best known for his breakout role on “True Blood,” where he played short order cook and drug dealer Lafayette Reynolds.The actor appeared on the hit HBO vampire series for its entire seven-season run and earned awards from the NAACP Image Awards and Satellite Awards for his performance.In past interviews, Ellis had been asked about this speculation and, back in 2010, Vibe caught up with him and he addressed the topic.“I don’t answer that question, ‘Are you gay or not,’ when it comes down to industry people. At 17, he joined the Marines, but quit shortly after. #nelsanellis A post shared by Octavia Spencer (@therealoctaviaspencer) on Born in Harvey, Illinois, in 1977, he and his siblings moved to Alabama to live with their aunt before Ellis decided to move back to Chicago at age 15.The actor, who played Lafayette Reynolds in the HBO series, died on 8 July after a four-day fight for his life in Woodhull hospital in New York, agent Emily Gerson Saines said on Monday.
“According to his father, during his withdrawal from alcohol he had a blood infection, his kidneys shut down, his liver was swollen, his blood pressure plummeted, and his dear sweet heart raced out of control.” She paid tribute to the Illinois-born actor as a “gentle, generous and kind soul” who was a “great friend to those that were lucky enough to know him”.
, has died at 39 of complications from heart failure.
His manager, Emily Gerson Saines, confirmed his death on Saturday to USA TODAY.
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.
Added “True Blood” creator Alan Ball, “Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me.