‘True Blood' star Nelsan Ellis dead at 39

Actor Nelsan Ellis has died at the age of 39.

Ellis' manager Emily Gerson Saines confirmed the actor's death in an email Saturday. The Hollywood Reporter, which was first to report Ellis' death, quoted her as saying the actor died from complications of heart failure.

Ellis, who was best known for his role as Lafayette in the HBO show “True Blood”’ also appeared started in the CBS TV show, “Elementary” and starred in films such as “The Help” and “The Butler,” where he played the role of Martin Luther King Jr. He was also a playwright and a director.

HBO released a statement saying that Ellis will be dearly missed.

Stars took to social media to mourn the loss of Ellis.

“Just got word that we lost @Nelsanellisofficial. My heart breaks for his kids and family,” said actress and Ellis’ former costar Octavia Spencer.

Joe Manganiello also tweeted, “Crushed today by the loss of my friend and castmate Nelsan Ellis. He was a wonderful person, a pioneer, and a one of a kind artist. RIP”

The cause of the heart failure is not yet known.

He is survived by his son, father, and grandmother, as well as his siblings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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