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True Blood Star Nelsan Ellis Dead At 39

True Blood star Nelsan Ellis has died aged only 39, can reveal.

The actor – who played flamboyant Lafayette Reynolds – was hugely popular with fans and fellow cast members of the HBO vampire show.

It is understood that he died of heart complications.

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

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Tributes to the actor, who was a short order cook at Merlotte's, have already started to come-in.

Creator Alan Ball said: "Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege."

"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," said Sam Trammell.

"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," said Joe Manganiello.

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Ellis appeared in numerous film and TV shows, including The Soloist, The Butler, Get On Up and Elementary.

Raised in Illinois the talented actor later later attended Oxford University and Columbia College in Chicago, before graduating from the famed Juilliard School.

Nelsan Ellis is survived by his grandmother (Alex Brown), his father (Tommie Lee Thompson) and his son (Breon Ellis) plus four sisters and three brothers

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