True Blood star Nelsan Ellis has died from heart failure-related complications, according to friends and representatives. He was 39.
Ellis was best known for his role as short order cook Lafayette on the HBO drama. His character was killed off in the original book series, but Lafayette survived the series, which ended in August 2014, because Ellis turned the character into a fan-favorite.
Several celebrities took to social media to mourn the actor and offer condolences to his family and friends.
Read on for their heartfelt reactions to Ellis' passing.
Ellis' True Blood co-stars Michael Raymond-James and Joe Manganiello both took to Twitter to express their grief at the loss of their former co-star and friend.
"Unbelievably sad news. Nelsan was such a sweet, gentle soul with an enormous talent. He will be missed greatly RIP," Raymond-James wrote.
Unbelievably sad news. Nelsan was such a sweet, gentle soul with an enormous talent. He will be missed greatly RIP https://t.co/NDdoaeM6Pj— MichaelRaymond-James (@MRaymondJames) July 8, 2017
"Crushed today by the loss of my friend and castmate Nelsan Ellis. He was a wonderful person, a pioneer, and a one of a kind artist. RIP," Joe Manganiello wrote.
Crushed today by the loss of my friend and castmate Nelsan Ellis. He was a wonderful person, a pioneer, and a one of a kind artist. RIP pic.twitter.com/fvtquhIac7— Joe Manganiello (@JoeManganiello) July 8, 2017
HBO also remembered Ellis in a statement honoring the actor’s portrayal of Lafayette. True Blood creator and executive producer Alan Ball echoed HBO’s epitaph in a statement of his own.
“Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me,” said Ball. “Working with him was a privilege.”
Octavia Spencer, who worked with Ellis on a number of projects including Get on Up, The Help and The Soloist, took to Instagram to remember the actor.
"Just got word that we lost @nelsanellisofficial. My heart breaks for his kids and family," Spencer wrote, adding hastags calling Ellis a brilliant actor and noting his many film and television projects.
Others in the entertainment industry also remembered Ellis. Writer and director Matthew A. Cherry as well as comedian and radio personality Rickey Smiley both took to Twitter to mark Ellis' passing and send condolences.
"Rest In Peace Nelsan Ellis. Gone too soon." Cherry wrote.
Rest In Peace Nelsan Ellis. Gone too soon. pic.twitter.com/MrPyr8LFmv— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) July 8, 2017
"Condolences to the family, friends & fans of [Nelsan Ellis] who became facmous after starring in [True Blood] on [HBO]" Smiley wrote.
Nathan Ellis is survived by his son, Breon Ellis, and other family members.