Nelsan Ellis Passes at 39

Nelsan Ellis attends the premiere of HBO's "True Blood" on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in Los Angeles. Season five of "True Blood" premieres Sunday, June 10 on HBO.  (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Nelsan Ellis, best known for playing Lafayette in HBO’s smash hit True Blood, has died earlier today after complications from heart failure at only 39 years old.

HBO released a statement saying this of Ellis: “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 ran for seven season on HBO from September 7, 2008 through August 24, 2014.

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