Nelsan Ellis was fondly remembered on Saturday by his “True Blood” co-stars as a “sweet” actor with “enormous talent.”
Ellis, 39, died on Saturday due to complications from heart failure, his rep confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter, although it was unclear what underlying problems caused the failure.
“Crushed today by the loss of my friend and castmate Nelsan Ellis,” actor Joe Manganiello wrote. “He was a wonderful person, a pioneer, and a one of a kind artist.”
Anna Paquin, who played the leading role of Sookie Stackhouse on the show, called working with Ellis an “utter privilege.”
“It was an utter privilege to work with the phenomenally talented and deeply kind soul .@OfficialNelsan,” she wrote on Twitter. “I’m devastated by his untimely death.”
‘True Blood’ star Nelsan Ellis dead at 39
Actor Sam Trammell also praised the late Ellis for his “magnificent talent.”
“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,” Trammell wrote. “Miss u friend.”
Fellow co-star Deborah Ann Woll wrote that the news was simply, “heartbreaking.”
Kristin Bauer, who played Pam on the HBO show, called Ellis’ passing a “terrible loss for all of us.”
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“One of the sweetest most talented men I’ve ever met,” Bauer recalled. “You will be missed. I don’t know how else to put words to this terribly sad news…”
Michael Raymond-James, who held a role on the series throughout its duration, also remembered his talented pal.
“Unbelievably sad news,” he wrote. “Nelsan was such a sweet, gentle soul with an enormous talent. He will be missed greatly RIP.”
Actress Janina Gavankar of “True Blood” blatantly called the death a “tragedy.”
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Not only did Ellis’ fellow cast members remember his great gift of acting fondly, the network and showrunners were also stunned by the news.
“We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis,” HBO said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter.
“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.”
The creator of the series, Alan Ball, told THR that working with Ellis was “a privilege.”
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“Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me,” Ball said.
Ellis’ character Lafayette Reynolds was killed off the in book series, but he was so well-liked on the show that his character carried on. “True Blood” ended its seven-year run in 2014.
The actor previously held roles on series like “The Soloist,” “The Butler,” “Get On Up” and “Elementary.”
Other actors also reacted to the news of Ellis’ death:
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