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

The actor died after complications from heart failure.

“We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis,” HBO said in a statement. “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.”

“Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure,” Emily Gerson Saines, his manager, told The Hollywood Reporter. “He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed.”

Ellis’ “The Help” costar Octavia Spencer broke the news on Instagram Saturday morning, saying, “Just got word that we lost (Nelsan). My heart breaks for his kids and family.”



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