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this is just completely tragic,' said Stephen Moyer who played Bill Compton on True Blood. god be with his family and friends,' said Luke James. The world is a poorer place today...,' said actor Denis O'Hare.Posting a photo with his True Blood cast mate, Joe Manganiello said: 'Crushed today by the loss of my friend and castmate Nelsan Ellis. Actress Octavia Spencer posted a photo on Instagram that she shared on Twitter and said: 'Just got word that we lost @Official Nelsan. His light shined bright.''Very disturbed and sad that Nelsan Ellis has died. Actor Sam Trammel said: 'I don't know if I've ever seen the level of humility and kindness that came with the Magnificent Talent that Nelsan Ellis had. @Nelsan Ellis also played Bobby Byrd in "Get On Up" with @chadwickboseman and the horse trainer in "Secretariat." RIP.He was a wonderful person, a pioneer, and a one of a kind artist. My heart breaks for his kids and family.…'Jessica Chastain, who attended the esteemed Juilliard School around the same time as Ellis, wrote: 'We didn't even scratch the surface of seeing what this artist was capable of. #Nelsan Ellis'Director Ava Du Vernay wrote: 'Rise in Peace, King. You made a difference #nelsanellis' Wendell Pierce said: 'A talented and beautiful man. Talented brother,' said media personality Roland Martin.Ellis is survived by his grandmother (Alex Brown), his father (Tommie Lee Thompson) and his son (Breon Ellis).The family said that the 39-year-old actor 'suffered from drug and alcohol abuse for years' and recently tried to 'withdraw from alcohol on his own' after 'many stints in rehab'.'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,' Saines told The Hollywood Reporter.'It was an utter privilege to work with the phenomenally talented and deeply kind soul @Official Neslan I'm devastated by his untimely death,' Paquin tweeted.Jessica Chastain, Octavia Spencer, and The Weeknd all took to Twitter to express their shock over Ellis' death and sent their condolences to his family.
But you only live once and you have to take those risks because you'll only be a better person or actor because of it." She had a starring role as Sarah Newlin in the second season of the HBO supernatural drama series True Blood, which earned her a nomination for a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series; Camp had earlier auditioned for the role of Sookie Stackhouse.
'Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure,' Saines said.'He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed.' His fellow True Blood actor Anna Paquin wrote: 'It was an utter privilege to work with the phenomenally talented and deeply kind soul @Official Neslan I'm devastated by his untimely death.'Jessica Chastain, Octavia Spencer, and The Weeknd all took to Twitter to express their shock over Ellis' death and sent their condolences to his family.
Ellis (right along with Anna Paquin and Ryan Kwanten) was easily a fan favorite with his performance of Lafayette - a vibrant short order cook at the bar Merlotte's - to the point that show writers chose to keep him throughout the series which went against the books where he is killed off.
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Jenesse Center or The Restoration Ministries Church of God and Christ.
Calls to Nelsan Ellis' representatives have been made but have not been returned.
She is also known for her role as Aubrey Posen in Pitch Perfect (2012), Pitch Perfect 2 (2015), and Pitch Perfect 3 (2017).