Nelsan Ellis, the actor who charmed fans as the sassy Lafayette Reynolds in HBO's True Blood, has died, according to his manager.
His manager, Emily Gerson Saines, confirmed the death of the 39-year-old actor to the Hollywood Reporter.
Ellis was easily a fan favorite with his performance of Lafayette - a vibrant short order cook a the bar Merlotte's - to the point that show writers chose to keep him throughout the series which went against the books where he is killed off.
'We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis,' HBO said in a statement.
'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.'
True Blood creator, Alan Ball added: 'Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege.'
Ellis was born near Chicago in Harvey, Illinois, but became a ward of the state after his mother had a break down over the death of her brother.