‘True Blood’ Star Nelsan Ellis Dies At Age 39

Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

Due to complications from heart failure

Nelsan Ellis, who played Lafayette Reynolds on HBO’s "True Blood," has died due to complications from heart failure. The actor was 39 years old. 

"He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed," Ellis' manager, Emily Gerson Saines, told The Hollywood Reporterafter confirming his cause of death. 

“We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis,” HBO wrote 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.”

Octavia Spencer, Ellis' co-star in The Help, broke the news of his passing on Instagram. "Just got word that we lost @nelsanellisofficial. My heart breaks for his kids and family," she wrote. "The first time I met him was on the set of the soloist and we were at rehearsal with a lot of the homeless cast members, and Nelsan was playing our counselor. He walked in wearing a pair of fitted camo cargo pants, a pristine white tshirt, a beret, and a denim jacket. Needless to say he was gorgeous, sexy. But his talent had me speechless. We became instant friends after that. He was sooooo funny. I miss him."

Ellis' other co-star in The Help, Viola Davis, also shared her condolences on social media. "He was like my son," she wrote. "Heartbroken. You took a piece of my heart with you."

Before portraying the short order cook-slash-vampire blood dealer on "True Blood," Ellis graduated from Juilliard. While the books that the show was based on killed off Reynolds’ character early, his performance was such a hit with fans that the writers kept him on for the entire series

“Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me," "True Blood"’s creator, Alan Ball, said in a statement. "Working with him was a privilege.”

In addition to "True Blood," Ellis also appeared in "Elementary," Get On Up, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Little Boxes, and Lee Daniels' The Butler

His family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Jenesse Center, a domestic violence prevention program, or The Restoration Ministries Church of God and Christ.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

He announced the news today

On Monday, Bernie Sanders announced that he is running for president again, after he lost the primary in 2016 to Hillary Clinton. And although he was very popular during the 2016 election, his announcement is drawing mixed reactions online.

Many of his previous supporters, including celebrities like Mark Ruffalo, were excited about him joining the 2020 race, voicing their support of his announcement.

But others seem to want him to disappear, even pretending not to know who he is. And these reactions have turned out, in some cases, to be hilarious.

The lack of excitement for his announcement may be because of the recent allegations of sexual assault which apparently occurred within his 2016 campaign, and which he claims he didn't know about. It could also be due to his base, who supported him even after he lost the primary to the detriment of Clinton's campaign.

Some are also calling out the fact that Clinton has been effectively shunned following her loss, while Sanders seems to be being welcomed back with open arms.



Photos courtesy of American Apparel

The pieces will take your athleisure look to the next level

American Apparel just dropped its first activewear line since the brand's relaunch last year, and I can already tell that these looks are going to make up my entire summer wardrobe.

The new line, called FORWARD, offers a variety of styles in lightweight fabrics like flyweight satin, which is an imitation of boxing gear; lame tricot; and cotton Spandex. All of the fabrics feature a four-way stretch, making the clothes "suitable for training but also designed for life outside the gym."

With the collection, American Apparel also launched an inclusive campaign called How We Play, which shows a diverse range of models, including blind Paralympic runner David Brown and curvy yoga instructor Luisa Fonseca.

The collection's styles offer a wide range of looks which will fit with just about any aesthetic, whether you're going hard at the gym or looking for a casual off-day outfit. Personally, I'm excited about the iridescent looks and the rainbow patterned bra and bottoms, which I will definitely be rocking at Pride this year.

The entire line is also super-affordable, capping out at $48, with most products priced in the $20-to-$30 range. You can shop FORWARD collection online, now.