Nelsan Ellis’ Family Shares Circumstances of ‘True Blood’ Actor’s Death
The actor died Saturday of heart failure due to alcohol withdrawal complications, the family said. “Nelsan was a gentle, generous and kind soul.”
Nelsan Ellis, the actor who starred on HBO’s True Blood as the fan-favorite Lafayette Reynolds, struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for years. That battle ultimately cost the 39-year-old his life.
Now, days after his death, Ellis’ family agreed to release to The Hollywood Reporter, throughhis manager Emily Gerson Saines, the exact circumstances around the beloved actor’s passing. Ellis died Saturday of heart failure. His death was met with a massive outpouring from friends and fans around the world, who were shocked and heartbroken over the news.
In an effort to help others who may be struggling with the same addictions that afflicted Ellis, his family released the following via Saines to THR:
Nelsan’s father has bravely agreed for me to share the circumstances of Nelsan’s heart failure. Nelsan has suffered with drug and alcohol abuse for years. After many stints in rehab, Nelsan attempted to withdraw from alcohol on his own. According to his father, during his withdrawal from alcohol he had a blood infection, his kidneys shut down, his liver was swollen, his blood pressure plummeted, and his dear sweet heart raced out of control.
On the morning of Saturday July 8th, after four days in Woodhull Hospital, Nelsan was pronounced dead. Nelsan was a gentle, generous and kind soul. He was a father, a son, a grandson, a brother, a nephew, and a great friend to those that were lucky enough to know him. Nelsan was ashamed of his addiction and thus was reluctant to talk about it during his life. His family, however, believes that in death he would want his life to serve as a cautionary tale in an attempt to help others.
Ellis was born in Harvey, Illinois. He attended Thorn Ridge High School in Dolton, and later attended Oxford University and Columbia College in Chicago before graduating from the famed Juilliard School.
Ellis appeared in numerous film and TV shows, including The Soloist, The Butler, Get on Up and Elementary.
The character Lafayette was killed off fairly early on in the books, The Southern Vampire Mysteries. But True Blood fans loved Ellis’ portrayal so much, the character survived and was a regular on the series.
“We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis,” HBO said in a statement on Saturday. “Nelsan was a longtime 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.”
Said True Blood creator Alan Ball: “Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege.”
Ellis is survived by his grandmother, Alex Brown; his father, Tommie Lee Thompson; and his son, Breon Ellis. He is also survived by his siblings Lakeeia Thomson, Tommie Lee Thompson, Babon Ellis, Maurice Turne, Tianna Thompson, Shaentika Beard and Yvonne Ellis and aunt Tartheaia Thompson.
this is funny
… so’s this
Jim Carrey Ain’t Paying For Shit
The parents of Jim Carrey’s ex-girlfriend who killed herself in a fit of depression have amended their civil suit against Jim Carrey to include the fact he failed to pay for their daughter’s funeral expenses as he promised.
Cathriona White’s parent claim that Carrey was the man who precipitated their daughter’s suicide, by giving her three STDs, dumping her, and providing her access to the pharmaceuticals she used to OD. White ultimately consumed a cocktail of Ambien, a high blood pressure med, and Oxy. She left a note:
“I’ve spent 3 days now in disbelief that you’re not here. I can go on brokenhearted and try to put the pieces back. I could, I just don’t have the will this time. I’m sorry you felt I wasn’t there for you. I tried to give you my best part.”
Then she left some practical notes about her burial and possessions. Very Irish.
The painkillers White downed were prescribed to Carrey under his celebrity pharmaceutical pseudonym, Arthur King. You may recall from the Anna Nicole Smith case, famous people don’t buy drugs under their own name. Or prostitutes. Save for Charlie Sheen, and you see how that wound up.
Carrey’s reps contend that White was a routinely depressed women and it’s not Carrey’s fault she took the breakup so hard. Also, she either purloined his pills or he simply forgot them when they broke-up. Either way, not his fault she tossed them back. The STDs, nobody’dtalking about so much. Save for the tabloid world. It’s a big SEO winner. Plus three is fairly impressive. Imagine that third date disclaimer.
According to reports, Carrey pulled back on his funeral expense promise when he learned that White’s parents owned the funeral parlor in Ireland that hosted their daughters interment. Convenient if true. Plus, they are kind of suing him for big cash for helping to cause their daughter’s death.
There’s no way for Carrey to come out of this situation looking like anything but a shit. That’s probably built in. Now he’s working on denying his ex-girlfriend’s parents from shaking him down. You can’t really sue for herpes by proxy. Or for the fact your daughter was madly in love with Jim Carrey. Charlie Sheen’s ex’s have The AIDS, but they’re still kicking.