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Nelsan Ellis

Actor Nelsan Ellis from 'True Blood' has died at 39

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Actor Nelsan Ellis died at the age of 39 due to complications of heart failure Saturday, his manager told the Hollywood Reporter.

Ellis was best known in his role as Lafayette Reynolds in HBO's "True Blood."

"He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed," his manager Emily Gerson Saines said in a statement.

After hearing of his death, some actors turned to Twitter to express their condolences.

HBO also responded in a statement, "We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis. 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."

Ellis grew up in Illinois before attending Oxford University and Columbia College in Chicago, and later graduating from Julliard School. He has appeared in many TV shows and movies, including "The Butler," and "Elementary."

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