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"True Blood" Star's Sudden Death Shocks Entertainment World - Apparently Due To Addiction Struggles

Nelsan Ellis, the 39-year-old actor best known for his role in HBO's 'True Blood' series, has sadly passed away due to alcohol withdrawal complications. According to his family, the star struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for years, and had gone to rehab many times. On this occasion, he was trying to withdraw from alcohol on his own, and it resulted in heart failure.

The family released a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, describing the circumstances surrounding Ellis's death. "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," the statement read. "On the morning of Saturday July 8th, after four days in Woodhull Hospital, Nelsan was pronounced dead."

The family says Ellis was a 'gentle, generous and kind soul'. Born in Harvey, Illinois in 1977, Ellis and his siblings went to be raised by their grandmother in Alabama for part of his life due to his mother having a breakdown over her brother's death. Ellis returned to Illinois at the age of 15. He went on to attend Illinois State University, and later was accepted into Juilliard where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Ellis began his acting career in 2002. From 2005-2007, Ellis appeared on television shows such as 'The Inside', 'Veronica Mars' and 'Without a Trace'. His big break came in 2008 when he landed his breakout role playing Lafayette Reynolds in HBO's 'True Blood'.

"We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis," said a statement put out by HBO 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."

"Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege," said Alan Ball, creator of 'True Blood'.

He had small roles in films such as 'The Soloist' in 2009, 'Secretariat' in 2010 and 'The Butler' in 2013. His most recent films were 'The Stanford Prison Experiment' (2015) and 'Little Boxes' (2016). He will also be starring posthumously in the upcoming film 'True to the Game', an adaption of the Teri Woods novel. The film wrapped in 2016 and is slated to hit theaters in September.

"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," said a statement from his family.”

Ellis is survived by his grandmother, father, son, seven siblings and aunt.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: YouTube

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