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Nelsan Ellis Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (6)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Harvey, Illinois, USA
Died in New York City, New York, USA  (complications with heart failure)
Birth NameNelson Leon Ellis
Height 5' 9¼" (1.76 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Nelsan Ellis was an award-winning American film and television actor and playwright, perhaps best known as Lafayette Reynolds on HBO's True Blood (2008).

Nelsan was born on November 30, 1977, in Harvey, Illinois, the son of Jackie Ellis and Tommie Lee Thompson. Following his parents' divorce, Ellis and his mother moved to Alabama. He moved back to Illinois as a teenager, and graduated from Thornridge High School in Dolton, Illinois, in 1997. 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. Segal Award. Ellis won a 2008 Satellite Award from the International Press Academy for best supporting actor in a television series for his role as Lafayette Reynolds in HBO's True Blood. Ellis won the "Brink of Fame: Actor" award at the 2009 NewNowNext Awards.

Tragically, Ellis died at the age of 39 on July 8, 2017, in Los Angeles, California, after complications from heart failure. His family released a statement on July 10, saying that Nelsan had been trying to quit alcohol in the days before his death, and suggesting that he suffered from alcohol withdrawal syndrome, leading to his heart failure.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Irishlass240 (corrections by A.R. Pennington)

Trivia (6)

Moved from Alabama to New York to attend the prestigious acting program at Juilliard.
Born in Harvey, IL. Moved to Bessemer, AL, with his family at age six. Moved to Dolton, IL, at 14, where he attended Thornridge High School.
Wrote the play "Ugly" about the devastating effects of domestic abuse after his sister Alice was shot by her husband in 2002. He staged the play while a student at Julliard, and received the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts' Martin E. Segal Award for his efforts.
Had six siblings.
Had two young children with his wife at the time of his death--a son Breon Ellis and newborn daughter.
Served in the United States Marine Corps but quit shortly after enlisting.

Personal Quotes (1)

[his thoughts on gay marriage] I support it. I think anybody should--I mean--I have my religious views, but I don't choose to oppress them on anybody. I think in this country, anybody can do whatever they want to do as long as it's not hurting anybody else or violating the laws of society. If you want to get married to a man then get married to a man. If two women want to get married they should get married. It's not hurting me. The beautiful thing about this country is that I can be a Christian and feel free to do so. Or somebody cannot be a Christian and do whatever that entails. Or somebody can be a Christian and still be gay and I support it. Let gay people get married.

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