Nelsan Ellis has died at age 39, The Hollywood Reporter confirms. The actor, best known for his role as Lafayette Reynolds in HBO's True Blood series, passed away after complications with heart failure according to his manager, Emily Gerson Saines.
"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."
True Blood's creator, Alan Ball, also issued a statement, writing, "Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege."