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TRIBUTE: True Blood has lost it’s heart with the passing of Nelsan Ellis

TRIBUTE: True Blood has lost it’s heart with the passing of Nelsan Ellis

THE VAULT website went to “ground” back in August 2015 and hasn’t posted anything since that time. However, upon hearing the news today of the passing of one of our favorites, Nelsan Ellis, we had to reopen the doors just for a bit to remember him. Below is our tribute to this wonderful man who lost his life too soon.

Every single person who ever watched True Blood loved Nelsan Ellis’ his portrayal of the forever amazing character, Lafayette! Lafayette was not only a charismatic character, but the life given to him by Nelsan Ellis cannot be matched! Today it was announced that Nelsan Ellis, the actor who played and embodied, Lafayette Reynolds on True Blood, has died. He was 39. ~ THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

We at the Vault want to recognize just how much we appreciated Nelsan Ellis’ portrayal of Lafayette AND how much we will miss him on this planet. His acting talent was beyond measure which makes it so tragic to see his light go out at such a young age.  I remember seeing him in other productions such as “The Help” and “Get On Up” and lately in the TV series “Elementary” and he was always wonderful in all he did.

Nelsan, we will miss you more than you could ever know!

Below is information about Nelsan’s untimely death, reactions by the True Blood Cast, the fan sites and how you can donate to two charities in lieu of sending flowers to remember him.

CLICK ON THE TABS BELOW TO SEE:

  • More info about Nelsan Ellis and his death
  • Cast Tweets
  • Fan Site tweets
  • and how you can donate in lieu of flowers for Nelsan
INFOVIDEOSTWEETSFANSDONATE

The information about Nelsan’s death came from, his manager Emily Gerson Saines.

She says:

“Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure,” Saines said. “He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed.

On True Blood, Lafayette was a short order cook at Merlotte’s. In the books, he was killed off, but because Ellis made him such an enjoyable character, he survived in the series.

“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 creator, Alan Ball said:Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege.”

Some background about Nelsan:

Ellis appeared in numerous film and TV shows, including The Soloist, The Butler, Get On Up and Elementary.

Ellis was born in Harvey, Ill. He attended Thorn Ridge High School in Dolton, Illinois. He later attended Oxford University and Columbia College in Chicago, before graduating from the famed Juilliard School.

Ellis is survived by his grandmother (Alex Brown), his father (Tommie Lee Thompson) and his son (Breon Ellis). He is also survived by his siblings – Lakeeia Thomson (sister), Tommie Lee Thompson (brother), Babon Ellis (brother), Maurice Turne (brother), Tianna Thompson (sister), Shaentika Beard (sister), Yvonne Ellis (sister) and Tartheaia Thompson (aunt).

His mother, Jackie Ellis, predeceased him in death.

Recently, he was part of the cast of CBS’s Elementary, as Shinwell Johnson. (GET MORE INFO HERE). He was also recently in some great films such as, The Help, Get on Up where he played the part of Bobby Byrd and in Lee Daniels, “The Butler” he played Martin Luther King, Jr. He was also in two new films that are yet to be released, True To the Game and Nausea…for Millenials (short).

But, for True Blood fans, he will always be remembered as Lafayette.

Includes excerpts from: hollywoodreporter.com

Recent interview

Below are some scenes with Lafayette that we want everyone to remember; how could you forget.

The best of Lafayette from Season 1

Lafayette and Jesus

Nelsan channels Lafayette at 2013 Comic Con

Many of the True Blood cast members tweeted their sadness of the passing of their friend and fellow actor as follows:

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO SEE A LARGER VIEW

UPDATE: Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin have both written a tributes to Nelsan on their Facebook page.

See a screenshot below or visit Anna’s facebook page.

See a screenshot of it below or visit Steve’s facebook page:

To all the True Blood fans, Nelsan was not just great at portraying Lafayette, but he was also a truly great actor. It’s interesting to note that he was really nothing like Lafayette in real life making his portrayal that much more spectacular. He was great in every role he had.

The three big True Blood websites tweeted their condolences:

Nelsan ellis

If you want to remember Nelsan, please donate to the charities listed below.  The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, they would prefer that donations be made to either charity below:

Lynnpd
Written by Lynnpd

Lynnpd has an avid interest in the entertainment industry from classic movies to all things True Blood. With a background in art, she enjoys creating in Photoshop, running web sites and finds the internet an exciting place to be. Lynn lives in the LA area and attends as many Hollywood related events as she can. She has covered events for the both websites in the LA area; read all about it at http://lynnpdexclusives.com.

31 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    July 08, 2017

    Extremely sad. Nelsan Ellis passing away at age 39 is shocking. He lit up the screen as True Blood’s gay short-order cook Lafayette. A truly exceptional, stand-out actor. My thoughts are with those who are hurting, and tgose personally touched by his amazing grace.

    Reply

  2. Avatar
    July 08, 2017

    Deeply saddened!He was one of my favorite characters of any show ever!I’m in shock,he’ll be missed. #lafeyette rest in peace ❤

    Reply

  3. Avatar
    July 08, 2017

    Truly in disbelief. I felt like he was part of my Family. I read Charlaine Harris’ book series that became True Blood. I was mesmerized! Nelsan was a FORCE from the first episode until the last, as we all know! As you already know, he was killed off in the first book in the series. BUT NOT MY LALA!!!! He was an integral part of True Blood! Come on now, Hooka! We’ve ALL quoted him!!! Waiting for Sunday to add to our repertoire!
    Rest In Paradise, Nelsan. Gone waaaaay too soon! We all loved you, but God loved you best…
    Sending thoughts and prayers of love and comfort to Nelsan’s Fam, friends and all who were touched by his magnificence.
    TRUBIE 4EVER! vv

    Reply

  4. Avatar
    July 08, 2017

    THis absolutely breaks my heart. Nelsan was such a great actor not just in True Blood. He was one of my favorite actors of all time. When you watched something he was in you could just see how much he had a passion for acting. He truly put his whole life and soul into his role. Lafayette was one of everyone’s favorite characters in true blood. I always laughed because anyone who has read the books knows the character is entirely created for the show after the first season. Despite the fat that I can’t stand when shows change so much from the book the show would not have been the same without the dramatics of Lala. It sounds bad but I grew up watching true blood. I started watching in 7th grade and the last episode shown on the day I moved into my first college dorm room. It was my one hour a week that nothing else mattered. Nelsan was such a big part of that. It breaks my heart knowing now there can never be a real True Blood Reunion show.

    Reply

  5. Avatar
    July 08, 2017

    It is a sad, sad day when we lose such a wonderful actor and a beautiful spirit. May he rest in peace with his mother.

    Reply

  6. Avatar
    July 08, 2017

    Thanks I so need this, it’s like a familly member died. He really became apart of us and part of the fandom. Is thier a way we can send a message to his familly?

    Reply

  7. Avatar
    July 08, 2017

    Every single True Blood fan I know LOVED Nelsan’s character of Lafayette. He was such a huge talent! This one hurts so much!

    Reply

  8. Avatar
    July 08, 2017

    The Lord took you home way to earily and now he has another Angel to help watch over this crazy world we live in. Nelsan thank you for making me laugh as Lafayette you made that character. I loved all the movies ive seen you in. You may be gone but, you will never befor gotten.R.I.P sweetheart ⚘⚘⚘⚘⚘

    Reply

  9. Avatar
    July 08, 2017

    i am so saddened to hear of this i loved Lafayette .esp when he licks the hamburger of the homophobic jerk in Merlot .i have also seen THE HELP .and enjoyed him in that also .such a tragic loss .i pray for his family RIP NELSAN

    Reply

  10. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    So deeply saddened by the loss of such an amazing actor. You will be missed greatly. RIP Nelsan Ellis

    Reply

  11. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    RIP you will be sadly missed x another great actor gone x from England xx

    Reply

  12. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    He truly had a talent in bringing life to every character he played. Gone way to soon. God has a bigger role for you. RIP young soul.

    Reply

  13. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    I stumbled across TrueBlood one day and the very first episode I watched was good but the moment I became hooked as after a scene with Nelsan. The character he brought to life was just so real and brilliant it was difficult to turn away. Truly an amazing talent and I am extremely sadden to hear of his passing. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this including his family and friends.

    Reply

  14. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    Too sad for words..watching True Blood to see all my favorite characters come to life..another great actor gone to soon…sorry for his family’s loss..his friends loss and all that knew him..what a blessing he was to the world..gone but not forgotten..xo

    Reply

  15. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    Lafayette was my most favorite character. I was over joyed to see him in the movie Secretariat, The Help and Get On Up. Heaven is overjoyed and a little brighter with Nelsan there. Much love and respect to you. You were the best of the best, love you. Rest in peace, you have placed your mark in this world.

    Reply

  16. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    My heart is truly saddened by this. His character was one of a kind on True Blood. I enjoyed his roles in Get on up and The Butler.. RIP.

    Reply

  17. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    I never heard of Nelsan Ellis before his portrayal of the fabulous Lafayette but after True Blood ended, I followed his career. In every role he played he stood out effortlessly. He was a great actor (to say the least). But I loved him as Lafayette the best. He made me laugh and cry at the same time. So happy I can turn in the TV to still see him again and again, but am saddened that I won’t see how more amazing his life would have become…and it definitely would have because he was AMAZING. This one hurts.

    He will definitely be sorely missed. May his soul rest in paradise forever. ⚘⚘

    Reply

  18. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    I am truly heartbroken to hear of the wonderful actor who portrayed Lafayette who did an awsome job on true blood i loved watching him r.i.p Lafayette you will all ways be remembered my thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family

    Reply

  19. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    He was truly a gift from god…he blessed us with every part of soul…we were so blessed to have had such an angel on this earth…you made me laugh,you made me cry, you taught me to be who i am !To be bold and to love with out conditions…you will be so truly missed..thank you for being you! Fly angel fly!

    Reply

  20. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    My heart is heavy with hearing about the passing of such an amazing man! Nelsan, nobody could have portrayed your character better than what you did and you were definately one of my personal favorites. Rest easy my friend!

    Reply

  21. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    So sad to hear of his passing.I enjoyed his acting not only in True Blood but in every role he played as I followed him in his career. He will Truley be missed and no one could play Lafayette like he could. #RIP Nelsan

    Reply

  22. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    What a shock to learn he is gone. He was absolutely brilliant as Lafayette. Time and time again I’ll return to the kitchen scene where Lafayette shows off those 6 gears his hips possess … and the Aidsburger scene is one of my all-time favorites, on ANY SHOW! He had a recurring role in last season’s Elementary, and did a masterful job. He will be sorely missed. The world has lost a phenomenal actor, and from everything I’ve read, a beautiful human being. Rest in peace, Nelsan!

    Reply

  23. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    There will never be another Lafayette. Nelsan Ellis, you will be sadly missed and your family, friends and TB family are in my prayers. A new Star shines bright in the Heavens tonight. May you Rest In Peace Nelsan.

    Reply

  24. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    We loved Lafayette he was truly an amazing actor. My heart goes out to his son and family.
    saying prayers for all

    Reply

  25. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    So deeply saddened by the loss of such a talented young man! RIP Nelsan!

    Reply

  26. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    My hometown actor is gone.. I’m so sad and felt like I knew him personally. He made me laugh, he made the world of everyone who watched true blood laugh. Talent like that, can’t be replaced.. R.I.PARADISE Nelsan Ellis..

    Reply

  27. Avatar
    July 09, 2017

    My deepest heartfelt condolences and sympathy to all who’s lives he touched. I’m deeply saddened by the loss of Nelsan Ellis; Lafayette in True Blood. I watched the series on HBO and have every episode on DVD. He was one of my favorites on the show! My heart ❤️ goes out to his family and his True Blood Family

    Reply

  28. Avatar
    July 10, 2017

    Such a tragic loss of one so young. His portrayal of Lafayette was outstanding.

    Reply

  29. Avatar
    July 10, 2017

    Very, very sad news. Hope he knew what a wonderful impact he made playing Lafayette. He obviously will be missed, but never forgotten. Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. Rest in Peace Nelsan.

    Reply

  30. Avatar
    July 11, 2017

    Sadden to learn such a beautiful bright shining star has extinguished far too soon. What a pleasure to watch Nelsan embody different characters seemingly so effortlessly, especially the much beloved Lafayette. We will miss you… Condolences to his family, friends and all that feel the loss of his passing.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      July 14, 2017

      So happy to hear from you WillKill, miss you. Too bad it had to be under such sad circumstances. Hope you are well. Lynnpd

      Reply

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