Actor Nelsan Ellis
, best known for playing flamboyantly gay short-order cook/drug dealer/spirit medium Lafayette Reynolds on seven seasons of HBO’s True Blood
, has died. According to Variety, Reynolds, who was 39, died of complications from heart failure.
Born in Chicago, and Julliard-trained, Ellis first broke into TV with a role on Fox’s short-lived crime drama The Inside
, playing the tech guy for the show’s Rachel Nichols
-led team of crimesolvers. After the series folded, Ellis made a turn into film, giving supporting roles in the Ernie Davis biopic The Express
and the Jamie Foxx
/Robert Downey Jr.
vehicle The Soloist
, before scoring a key role in Alan Ball
’s campy vampire soap in 2008.
As Lafayette, Ellis presented one of the few True Blood
characters who seemed fully clued-in to just how ridiculous Charlaine Harris
’ world of repentant vampires, angry Maenads, and rampaging werepanthers actually was ...