Nelsan Ellis, the actor who starred in HBO's True Blood as Lafayette Reynolds, has died.

The actor was just 39.

"Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure," his manager Emily Gerson Saines told The Hollywood Reporter. "He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed."

Friends of Ellis' took to social media to remember the star with Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer taking to Instagram to remember her friend and co-star from The Help.


"Just got word that we lost @nelsanellisofficial. My heart breaks for his kids and family. #RIPNelsanEllis. #brillIantactor #trueblood #getonup #thesoloist #thehelp."

True Blood's creator Alan Ball told The Hollywood Reporter: "Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege."

Ellis' True Blood co-stars Joe Manganiello and Sam Trammell took to Twitter to remember the actor.

"Crushed today by the loss of my friend and castmate Nelsan Ellis," Manganiello wrote. "He was a wonderful person, a pioneer, and a one of a kind artist. RIP."

"I don't know if I've ever seen the level of humility and kindness that came with the magnificent talent that Nelsan Ellis had. Miss u friend," added Trammell.

Empire star Gabby Sidibe tweeted her shock, saying: "Heartbroken over the passing of Nelsan Ellis. He was always so sweet to me and so entertaining to watch in screen."

Although most known for his work on True Blood, Ellis had major roles in films such as The Help, The Soloist, The Butler, Secretariat, and Get on Up, the biopic of James Brown.