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Nelsan Ellis

Nelsan Ellis
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
First seen
Last seen
Appeared in
80 episodes (see below)
Mentioned in
Biographical Information
Date of birth
November 30, 1977
Date of death
July 8, 2017 (aged 39) †
Place of birth
Harvey, Illinois, USA
Place of death
New York City, NY, USA
Lafayette Reynolds
Mavis (possessing Lafayette Reynolds)
Marnie Stonebrook (possessing Lafayette Reynolds)
Zaafira (possessing Lafayette Reynolds)
Corbett Stackhouse (possessing Lafayette Reynolds)
External Links
[{{{website}}} Official Site]
[{{{facebook}}} Facebook]
[{{{myspace}}} Myspace]
[{{{twitter}}} Twitter]


Nelsan Ellis (November 30, 1977 – July 8, 2017) was an award-winning American film and television actor and playwright who played the role of Lafayette Reynolds on the HBO original series True Blood. Making his debut on the series' premiere episode, "Strange Love", in the series' first season, Nelsan plays the role of a medium and cook working at Merlotte's Bar and Grill in the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. Playing a recurring role through the series' first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh seasons, Nelsan was part of the initial starring cast and remained a starring cast member until his final appearance, in the series' finale episode, "Thank You", in the series' seventh, and final, season.


Ellis was born in Harvey, Illinois. Following his parents' divorce, Ellis and his mother moved to Bessemer, Alabama, where he attended Jess Lanier High School for a year, then transferred to McAdory High School. He moved back to Illinois at 15, and graduated from Thornridge High School in Dolton, Illinois, in 1997. Ellis is a graduate of Juilliard. Nelsan passed away on July 8, 2017 after complications with heart failure.



  • The Help (2011)
  • Secretariat (2010)
  • The Soloist (2009)
  • The Express (2008)


  • True Blood (2008-2014)
  • Without a Trace (2007)
  • Veronica Mars (2007)
  • The Inside (2005)
  • Warm Springs (2005)


  • Named Entertainment Weekly's Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (season 1)
  • Won the NewNowNext Award for Brink of Fame: Actor (season 1)
  • Won the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Series, Miniseries, or Television Film (season 1)
  • Nominated for the Scream Award for Best Supporting Actor (season 1)
  • Nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (season 3)



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Trading Cards


Season one appearances
"Strange Love" "The First Taste" "Mine" "Escape from Dragon House"
"Sparks Fly Out" "Cold Ground" "Burning House of Love" "The Fourth Man in the Fire"
"Plaisir D'Amour" "I Don't Wanna Know" "To Love Is to Bury" "You'll Be the Death of Me"
Season two appearances
"Nothing but the Blood" "Keep This Party Going" "Scratches" "Shake and Fingerpop"
"Never Let Me Go" "Hard-Hearted Hannah" "Release Me" "Timebomb"
"I Will Rise Up" "New World in My View" "Frenzy" "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'"
Season three appearances
"Bad Blood" "Beautifully Broken" "It Hurts Me Too" "9 Crimes"
"Trouble" "I Got a Right to Sing the Blues" "Hitting the Ground" "Night on the Sun"
"Everything Is Broken" "I Smell a Rat" "Fresh Blood" "Evil is Going On"
Season four appearances
"She's Not There" "You Smell Like Dinner" "If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin'?" "I'm Alive and on Fire"
"Me and the Devil" "I Wish I Was the Moon" "Cold Grey Light of Dawn" "Spellbound"
"Let's Get Out of Here" "Burning Down the House" "Soul of Fire" "And When I Die"
Season five appearances
"Turn! Turn! Turn!" "Authority Always Wins" "Whatever I Am, You Made Me" "We’ll Meet Again"
"Let's Boot and Rally" "Hopeless" "In the Beginning" "Somebody That I Used to Know"
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World" "Gone, Gone, Gone" "Sunset" "Save Yourself"
Season six appearances
"Who Are You, Really?" "The Sun" "You're No Good" "At Last"
"F**k the Pain Away" "Don't You Feel Me" "In the Evening" "Dead Meat"
"Life Matters" "Radioactive"
Season seven appearances
"Jesus Gonna Be Here" "I Found You" "Fire in the Hole" "Death is Not the End"
"Lost Cause" "Karma" "May Be the Last Time" "Almost Home"
"Love is to Die" "Thank You"

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