- Name: Nelsan Ellis
- Age at Death: 39 years old
- Height: 5ft 9in (176 cm)
- Occupation: Actor
- Net Worth: US $3 Million
- Status: Deceased
Nelsan Ellis was an American actor and playwright. He co-starred as “Lafayette Reynolds” in the HBO drama series, True Blood. His film credits include Get on Up (2014), The Help (2011) and Secretariat (2010). Ellis was born on November 30, 1977 in Harvey, Illinois. His parents were Jackie and Tommie Lee Thompson. He had several siblings including a sister named Alice. Ellis was raised by his grandmother, Alex Brown, in Bessemer, Alabama. He eventually moved back to Illinois at age 14. Ellis attended Thornridge High School followed by Illinois State University. He completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New York’s Juilliard School in 2004.
Ellis started out as a stage actor during high school. One of his first notable role was that of “Junie” in George C. Wolfe’s play ‘The Colored Museum’. He also showed promise as a top speech competitor. After high school he served briefly in the United States Marine Corps. Ellis began writing plays while at Juilliard. He wrote the play “Ugly” which was based on the death of his sister. His pregnant sister was murdered by her husband. The play earned him the Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award.
Ellis made his small screen debut in the television film, Warm Springs (2005). He held a recurring role as “Carter Howard” in the Fox crime-drama, The Inside (2005-06). Other early television appearances include ‘Without a Trace’ and ‘Veronica Mars’. Ellis got his big break after he was cast as “Lafayette Reynolds” in the drama-fantasy series, True Blood. The show premiered on HBO on September 7, 2008. It ran for a total of 7 seasons until its conclusion in August 2014. The series earned Ellis a Satellite Award for best supporting actor. He was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Scream Award in 2009. Ellis appeared on an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2005. He starred as “Shinwell Johnson” in the CBS series, Elementary.
Ellis portrayed musician “Bobby Byrd” in the biopic, Get on Up (2014). The film was directed by Tate Taylor and stars Chadwick Boseman as James Brown. Prior to that, Ellis portrayed “Martin Luther King, Jr.” in Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013). His film credits also include The Soloist (2009) with Jamie Foxx, Secretariat (2010) with Diane Lane, and The Help (2011) with Jessica Chastain. His last completed film was True to the Game (2017). The movie is based on Teri Woods’ 1992 novel of the same name.
Nelsan Ellis died on July 8, 2017 at the age of 39. His reported cause of death was complications of heart failure. He’s survived by his father, grandmother, 7 siblings and his son Breon. Ellis was about 5ft 9in tall and he was of African-American ancestry. His net worth was estimated at $3 million before his death.
Nelsan Ellis Age, Birthday, Salary, Wiki
- Birth Name: Nelsan Ellis
- Birthday: November 30, 1977
- Place of Birth: Harvey, Illinois, United States
- Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
- How Tall : Height: 5ft 9in (176 cm)
- Occupation: Actor, Playwright
- Years Active: 2002-2017
- Net Worth & Salary: US $3 Million
- Death-O-Meter: Dead
- Died: July 8, 2017
- Cause of Death: Heart Failure
- Place of Death: Los Angeles, California, U.S.