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Nelsan Ellis, ‘True Blood’ and ‘Elementary’ Actor, Dies at 39

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

His manager confirmed his passing to TheWrap and said that he died following complications from heart failure.

HBO said in a statement on Saturday that the network’s team is “extremely saddened” by the news.

Also Read: Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2017 (Photos)

“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,‘” the statement read. “Nelsan will be dearly missed by his fans and all of us at HBO.”

Ellis played Lafayette on Alan Ball’s vampire series throughout its seven-season run that ended in August 2014.

Also Read: Stephen Moyer Has Mixed Feelings About the 'True Blood’ Finale (Exclusive Video)

The actor also appeared on CBS’ “Elementary” in the recurring role of Shinwell Johnson. His film appearances included parts in “The Soloist” (2009), “The Help” (2011), “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” (2013) and “Get on Up” (2014).

Octavia Spencer, his co-star on “The Soloist,” “The Help” and “Get on Up,” expressed her grief on Instagram on Saturday, saying her “heart breaks.”

Ellis is survived by his father, seven siblings and his son, Breon.

Just got word that we lost @nelsanellisofficial. My heart breaks for his kids and family. #RIPNelsanEllis. #brillIantactor #trueblood #getonup #thesoloist #thehelp

A post shared by Octavia Spencer (@therealoctaviaspencer) on Jul 8, 2017 at 11:43am PDT

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