'True Blood' Star Nelsan Ellis Dead at 39

7/8/2017 12:43 PM PDT

'True Blood' Star Nelsan Ellis Dead at 39

Breaking News

Nelsan Ellis -- known for his role as Lafayette Reynolds on HBO's "True Blood" -- has died after complications from heart failure.

Ellis also appeared in "The Help," and starred in the TV show, "Elementary."  He also appeared in the moves, "Get On Up" and "The Stanford Prison Experiment"  ... and played Martin Luther King, Jr. in "Lee Daniels' The Butler."

HBO issued a statement saying Ellis will be dearly missed.

So far no word on the underlying problem that triggered the heart failure.

He leaves behind a son.

Ellis was 39.

RIP