R.I.P. True Blood star Nelsan Ellis · Newswire · The A.V. Membership

Actor Nelsan Ellis, greatest recognized for taking part in flamboyantly homosexual short-order prepare dinner/drug supplier/spirit medium Lafayette Reynolds on seven seasons of HBO’s True Blood, has died. Based on Selection, Reynolds, who was 39, died of issues from coronary heart failure.

Born in Chicago, and Julliard-trained, Ellis first broke into TV with a job on Fox’s short-lived crime drama The Inside, enjoying the tech man for the present’s Rachel Nichols-led group of crimesolvers. After the sequence folded, Ellis made a flip into movie, giving supporting roles within the Ernie Davis biopic The Specific and the Jamie Foxx/Robert Downey Jr. car The Soloist, earlier than scoring a key function in Alan Ball’s campy vampire cleaning soap in 2008.

As Lafayette, Ellis introduced one of many few True Blood characters who appeared absolutely clued-in to only how ridiculous Charlaine Harris’ world of repentant vampires, indignant Maenads, and rampaging werepanthers really was, serving as a peaceful (if extralegal) presence for the steadily fucked-up residents of Bon Temps. Though Ellis stated he struggled for a number of episodes to search out the character, as soon as he did, he may very well be explosively highly effective within the function, as on this scene, probably the most well-known from the present’s first season:

After True Blood, Ellis continued to work steadily, co-starring on the newest season of Elementary, and showing in movies like Little Containers and the James Brown biopic Get On Up. In 2013, Ellis gave certainly one of his most notable roles, in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, enjoying Martin Luther King Jr. in a brief however resonant scene:

Ellis was memorialized on-line as we speak by his co-star from The Assist, Octavia Spencer, and by his outdated True Blood castmates and showrunner, amongst different former co-workers and followers of his work.

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