Nelsan Ellis’ “True Blood” cast mates are sharing the most heartbreaking tributes to their late friend

Yesterday, True Blood fan favorite Nelsan Ellis died at 39 from heart failure. As soon as the tragic news broke, fans and cast mates of Ellis reacted by sharing their condolences and shock on social media. While Ellis was an illustrious actor known also for his roles in Get On Up, The ButlerThe Help, and more, his impact on True Blood fans is immeasurable.

Ellis’s True Blood costar, Anna Paquin, said on Twitter that it was “an utter privilege to work with the phenomenally talented and deeply kind soul.” Joe Manganiello, also from True Blood, said, “He was a wonderful person, a pioneer, and a one-of-a-kind artist.”

True Blood creator and executive producer Alan Ball said in a statement, “Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me. Working with him was a privilege.” And HBO added, “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.”

Ellis clearly had a great impact on his True Blood coworkers. Here are some of their commemorative tributes.

The True Blood Twitter account shared HBO’s post about Ellis’ death.

Cast mates also shared their deep grief and sadness over this loss.

It’s so heartbreaking to hear about how great an impact Ellis had on his True Blood cast mates. Lafayette, Ellis’ character, was surely one of a kind — many argue the best on the show — and fans of his were sharing some of their favorite moments on social media as well. false

What a tragic loss. Nelsan was such a gifted actor, and based on his cast mates’ words, a great person to know.