Tributes have been pouring in for departed True Blood star Nelsan Ellis, who has passed away aged 39..

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“Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure,” his agent said in a statement.

“He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed.”

The actor, who played crossdressing fry cook Lafayette Reynolds in all seven seasons of the HBO vampire drama (despite his character being killed off much earlier in Charlaine Harris’ source novels) was remembered by series stars Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer among others from the cast, as well as by series author Harris and many others who he’d worked with over the years.

He is remembered as a kind and talented person:

"We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis,” True Blood makers HBO added 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.”

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Ellis had also recently appeared in movies including The Butler, The Help, Get On Up and The Stanford Prison Experiment, with TV work including Sherlock Holmes drama Elementary.

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