Hollywood yet again said goodbye to another talented Actor who gave life to the character Lafayette Reynolds on HBO’sTrue Blood.” Nelsan Ellis died on July 8 (Saturday) due to heart failure. He was 39-years-old.

Following the actor’s death, his family reached out to The Hollywood Reporter via Emily Gerson Saines, his manager, to share the circumstances surrounding Nelsan Ellis’ death. The actor was pronounced dead on the morning of July 8 after fighting for his life for four days in Woodhull Hospital.

Alcohol/drug addiction, and cause of death

According to the family’s statement, “True Bloodactor Nelsan Ellis suffered from drug and alcohol addiction.

The actor was even ashamed of it and was reluctant to talk about it throughout his life. In fact, he has had many stints in rehab.

Nelsan Ellis had a blood infection during his withdrawal, according to his father. This caused his kidneys to eventually shut down and his liver to swell. Then, his blood pressure dropped and his “heart raced out of control,” ultimately leading to his death. Nelsan Ellis’ family believes that by sharing what the actor went through, it could “serve as a cautionary tale in an attempt to help others.”

The actor’s HBO family released a statement at the time of his death, noting that they are extremely saddened to hear of his passing. HBO added that Nelsan “will be remembered fondly within the overall legacy of ‘True Blood.’” He will also be missed dearly by his fans.

Meanwhile, series creator Alan Ball said that it was a privilege working with Nelsan Ellis.

Lafayette Reynolds on 'True Blood'

The actor was known for portraying Lafayette Reynolds, one of the prominent characters on HBO’s “True Blood.” His character debuted in the “Strange Love” episode of Season 1.

Although Lafayette Reynolds was killed early in the books, the character survived because of the actor's stunning portrayal in the HBO series

Nelsan Ellis also appeared in other shows such as “The Butler,” “The Soloist,” and “Elementary.” He was born in Harvey, Illinois, and then moved to Alabama before going back to Chicago.

Alcohol has long been a crisis in America, linked to 88,000 deaths annually, according to the most recent analysis from the CDC. Alcohol addiction has, in fact, claimed a great number of Hollywood actors over the past decades. Alcoholism needs to be taken seriously by the government and policymakers.

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