Fans of both "True Blood" and "Elementary" were saddened to hear of the death of very talented and beloved actor Nelsan Ellis on Saturday. The official cause of death was Heart Failure but CNN reported that his family said there was more to his passing than that. Ellis, 39, was reportedly dealing with Alcohol Addiction problems and his family said that led to his death.

The manager of Nelsan Ellis, Emily Gerson Saines, said that the family hopes that sharing the details of his addiction problems that might have led to his young death will help others who are suffering from addiction problems.

Nelsan Ellis' family's statement

In the statement released by the family of Nelsan Ellis, he was suffering from both alcohol and drug addiction problems and had been for many years. The statement said that Nelsan had many stints in rehabilitation centers trying to beat his addictions and that he also tried to withdraw from alcohol on his own after those trips to rehab failed.

The father of Nelsan Ellis said that when his son went cold turkey from alcohol, he developed a blood infection. Ellis' kidneys shut down and his liver was swollen. His dad said that his blood pressure dropped and his "dear sweet heart" finally gave out on him, leading to his death at the young age of 39.

The statement finally said that Nelsan Ellis was "ashamed" of his addiction problems and wouldn't talk about it to anyone while he was still alive.

However, his family said that they believe that, in his death, Ellis would want to use his life and death as a cautionary tale for others suffering through addiction problems.

The life of Nelsan Ellis

Nelsan Ellis had appeared in many movies but it was television that made him a beloved star. Ellis starred as the flamboyant medium Lafayette on the HBO series "True Blood." His character died early in the Southern Vampire book series that the series was adapted from but he was so popular on the show that they kept him alive throughout the series.

Alan Ball, the showrunner for "True Blood" called Ellis a "singular talent" who always amazed him. The show's star Anna Paquin had a huge and long tribute to her co-star, calling him a "virtuoso performer" and someone who was "inspiring and beautiful to watch."

After "True Blood" ended, Nelsan Ellis developed a whole new fanbase when he appeared on the network TV show "Elementary" as the ex-convict and current police informant Shinwell Johnson.

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