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R.I.P.: Nelsan Ellis' role as Lafayette in 'True Blood' was one of the most memorable in recent TV memory

Over the weekend, 'True Blood' fans mourned the death of breakout star Nelsan Ellis, 39, who always stole the scene as gay short order cook, Lafayette Reynolds, on the HBO vampire series. On screen, Ellis defied gender norms and expectations portraying the unapologetic character we all fell in love with. “I have more makeup on than any of the females in the (True Blood) cast,” Ellis once said the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Once they get me with the fake eyelashes and the eye makeup, I listen to some Rihanna and I’m there.”

Ellis’ ‘The Help’ co-star, Octavia Spencer took to Instagram to mourn her friend’s death, “Just got word that we lost (Nelsan). My heart breaks for his kids and family.”

In addition to his ‘True Blood’ success, Ellis went on to appear in ‘Little Boxes’, ‘Get on Up’, and he was a series regular on ‘Elementary’.

Ellis’s manager, Emily Gerson Saines, confirmed that the 39-year-old died on Saturday in Los Angeles from complications related to heart failure.

above photo courtesy of HBO.

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