True Blood actor Nelsan Ellis has died from heart failure complications at the age of 39.
The American’s death was confirmed by his manager who said Ellis would be “forever missed”, with tributes led by Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer.
Ellis played Lafayette Reynolds in HBO series True Blood, arguably his best known role.
His manager, Emily Saines, told The Hollywood Reporter: “Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure.
“He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed.”
Ellis appeared in all seven series of True Blood, a dark fantasy which first hit television screens in 2008.
He also had roles in African-American film The Help (2011) and CBS show Elementary.
Spencer, who starred alongside Ellis in The Help, described him as a “brilliant actor.
“My heart breaks for his kids and family,” she wrote on Instagram.
Fellow True Blood co-stars Aisha Hinds, Michael McMillian, Lauren Bowles and Kristin Bauer also paid tribute to Ellis.
Bauer wrote on Instagram: “One of the sweetest most talented men I’ve ever met. A terrible loss for all of us. Rest In Peace Nelsan. You will be missed. I don’t know how else to put words to this terribly sad news…”