Nelsan Ellis passed away last week due to heart complications. The news was announced on social media by one of Nelsan's co-stars and later confirmed by his manager. Nelsan is best known for his role as Lafayette Renolds on the HBO "True Blood". The star was only 39-years-old when he passed. He is survived by his son, seven siblings, father and grandmother.

Nelsan's early life

According to Variety, Nelsan Ellis was born in 1977. The 39-year old actor briefly moved to live with his aunt before returning to Chicago. He was only 15-years-old when he made the decision to move home.

Two years later Nelsan joined the Marines for a brief time. However, the actor found he did not like being a member of the Marines and quit shortly after he joined.

Ellis went on to study at both Illinois State University and Juiliard. At Juilliard, he was one year above Rutina Wesley, who would later become a fellow cast member of "True Blood". Ellis once spoke of his time studying at Juilliard and stated that he was surrounded by white artists. He recalled how he struggled for his first few years but has credited this struggle to the artist he became.

'True Blood' family mourning the loss of Ellis

The death of Nelsan Ellis was released by "The Help" co-star Octavia Spencer. She broke the news on social media on Saturday, June 8.

Nelsan's manager, Emily Gerson Saines, later confirmed his death to the Hollywood Report. She stated that the star passed away due to heart complications. She praised Ellis saying that he was a true talent and brought a lot of joy to the world.

The HBO family are in mourning for their co-star. The company released a public statement.

They spoke fondly of Nelsan Ellis who portrayed Lafayette on the show "True Blood". They expressed their condolences to his family and have expressed that he will be deeply missed by co-stars and fans. The creator of "True Blood", Alan Ball, spoke of Nelsan's amazing work ethic and talent he brought to the show.

Many other family and friends took to social media to express their love for the deceased actor.

People such as Wendall Pierce, Jesse Williams, and co-star Anna Paquin shared photos of Nelsan for all to see. Ellis's fans have also taken to social media to express their love for the actor.

Nelsan had a thriving career once he moved on from "True Blood" landing roles in "The Butler" and "The Help". The actor won an Ewwy, a NewNowNext Award, and two Satellite Awards. The star will be deeply missed by family, friends, and fans.