By Blake Powers

According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO’s True Blood star Nelsan Ellis (“Lafayette Reynolds”) has passed away, at age 39, from heart failure, according to his manager Emily Gerson.

Ellis’s “Lafayette Reynolds” character was a short-order cook at the restaurant/bar, “Merlotte’s.”

In the True Blood books, “Lafayette Reynolds” doesn’t survive. However, due to the popularity of the character Ellis brought to life on screen, “Lafayette” survived in the HBO series.

Ellis’s True Blood cast mates are expressing their grief.


Ellis was absolutely fantastic as “Lafayette”, plus he had several other movie and TV appearances, including roles in The Soloist, The Butler Get On Up and Elementary.

Ellis is survived by his grandmother (Alex Brown), his father (Tommie Lee Thompson), his son Breon Ellis, and siblings Lakeeia Thomson, Tommie Lee Thompson, Babon Ellis, Maurice Turne, Tianna Thompson, Shaentika Beard, Yvonne Ellis and his aunt, Tartheaia Thompson.

R.I.P. Nelsan, and thanks for our outstanding performances that hopefully those who haven’t experienced, will.



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