Chicago actor Nelsan Ellis dies at 39

Harvey-born Nelsan Ellis, who rose to fame as the character Lafayette on HBO’s True Blood, has died at the age of 39.

Variety confirms the cause was complications from heart failure.

“We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis,” HBO said in a statement given to Variety.

“Nelsan was a long-time member of the HBO family whose groundbreaking portrayal of Lafayette will be remembered fondly within the overall legacy of True Blood. Nelsan will be dearly missed by his fans and all of us at HBO.”