Ellis played the flamboyant Lafayette Reynolds throughout the entire 2008-14 run of the HBO signature series, adding heart, grit and fierce gay pride to the supernatural happenings in Bon Temps, Louisiana.
“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,” tweeted Sam Trammell, who co-starred as the shape-shifting Sam Merlotte, owner of the bar and grill where Lafayette served as cook and tough-as-lacquered-nails peacekeeper. “Miss u friend.”
True Blood‘s Anna Paquin, who starred as the show’s heroine (and Lafayette’s lifelong friend) Sookie Stackhouse, called Ellis “phenomenally talented and deeply kind soul”:
Stephen Moyer, who played vampire Bill Compton:
Denis O’Hare, the show’s vampire king Russell Edgington:
Carrie Preston played waitress Arlene Fowler Bellefleur:
Joe Manganiello, who played werewolf Alcide Herveaux, wrote that he is “crushed” by the loss:
Kristin Bauer (vampire Pam):
Michael McMillian, who played anti-vamp preacher-turned-bloodsucker Steve Newlin:
Deborah Ann Woll, who was vampire Jessica:
Todd Lowe, who co-starred as Lafayette’s coworker and pal Terry Bellefleur:
Tara Buck, Fangtasia’s human waitress Ginger:
Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse book series on which True Blood was based, tweeted:
Earlier today, series creator Alan Ball released a statement: “Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege.”
And Chadwick Boseman, who co-starred with Ellis in the James Brown biopic Get On Up, posted this:
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