Sign in. Following his parents' divorce, Ellis and his mother moved to Alabama. Ellis attended Juilliard and, while there, wrote a semi-autobiographical play titled Ugly that was performed at the school and later won the Lincoln Center's Martin E.
Nelsan Ellis was dead at a youthful 39 years old from complications of heart failure which was verified by several sources including Variety. I was like this is not right. As much of a fan of vampire genre that I am, it typically is very mainstream.
Updated July 09, Ellis's manager, Emily Gerson Saines, confirmed the actor's death via an emailed statement on Saturday local time. The Hollywood Reporter, which was first to report Ellis's death, quoted her as saying the actor died from complications of heart failure, adding more information would come to light in coming days.
The series was "True Blood" and this was to be a gothic horror-fantasy based on "The Southern Vampire Mysteries" novels by Charlaine Harris, set in the fictional backwater town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, and following the life and loves of a waitress named Sookie Stackhouse. Alan Ball, who had created and was running the show, starring Anna Paquin as Sookie, was a playwright. At the time, Ball was known for filling his writers room with theater people like Woo, who'd already penned several dramas about Chinese-Americans fighting discrimination in the 19th century. There was a lot of plot in that fifth episode, aptly dubbed "Sparks Fly Out" and set mostly in Merlotte's bar and grill, where Sookie worked.
The reported cause was complications due to heart failure. Lafayette and Ellis became instant fan favorites. Lafayette was a key character through the seventh and final season of the series, which was based on novels by Charlaine Harris.
On Saturday, the year-old actor diedtaking with him not only the kind and generous spirit all his co-stars have lamented, but an immense talent that we only ever got to see a fraction of. Whenever a great actor dies, we think about their legacy, what made them truly iconic. He was captivating from the very beginning, a character who on paper might have been nothing but a wise-cracking gay stereotype, but through Ellis became one of the most layered and beloved portrayals of a gay black man in television history.
Ellis died of complications of heart failure, manager Emily Gerson said. The Hollywood Reporter reported the actor's death earlier Saturday. Gerson told the publication: "He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed.
In addition to his television work, Ellis appeared in several feature films throughout his career. His final acting role was in True to the Gamewhich was released posthumously. Ellis and his siblings became wards of the stateand later were raised in Bessemer, Alabamaby their maternal grandmother. He was diagnosed with dyslexia in second grade.
By Patrick Hipes. The statement, released earlier today, follows in full. Nelsan has suffered with drug and alcohol abuse for years.
Ellis, a Juilliard graduate, died of heart failure at age 39, his manager said Saturday. On True Bloodwhich aired on HBO from toEllis brought to life one of the most important depictions of queerness on television, in a series that bubbled with crazy camp improbabilities. His short-order cook who moonlighted as a drug and vampire blood dealer was enticing and bawdy, femme and butch, learned and country AF. He could just as easily spread his glossed lips into a smile and flutter his fake eyelashes as he could hem up a delinquent customer in a full nelson, a quality that made him eminently GIF-able.