Rest in peace actor Nelsan Ellis, gone way too soon at age 39 of heart complications. (An M.D. fan opined that they must not have been able to find him a transplant in time.) Known for his warm and frequently hilarious portrayal of Lafayette Reynolds on True Blood, he also appeared in Secretariat, The Help, television's Elementary series and the James Brown bioflick Get On Up.
Ellis recalled that it took four auditions for him to win the role of Lafayette.
“Once I started to act like my Mama, my fourth audition, I got the part,” he said. His Lafayette character, a flamboyantly gay cook into voodoo, with many humorous quips and an unforgettable introductory scene seducing a heavyset man, ("You can be my Santa Claus") perhaps belied the serious actor. A Juilliard graduate, he was also a playwright and family man with a son Breon Ellis.
A day after his demise, his family offered the following details regarding his death in hopes that it serves as a caution to others: LINK.*