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Nelsan Ellis’ Family Shares His Drug and Alcohol Problems In Hopes of Helping Others



by TRN Writers,

The sudden death of “True Blood” actor Nelsan Ellis has left fans and co-stars in shock.  Ellis was only 39 years when he died of heart failure over the weekend.

Now comes new details from his family as to what may have caused the young man’s heart to stop beating.  In a statement released to The Hollywood Reporter,  CNN says the actor’s family reveals  Ellis was “attempting to withdraw from alcohol leading up to his death on Saturday.“(CNN)  The statement says “Nelsan has suffered with drug and alcohol abuse for years. After many stints in rehab, Nelsan attempted to withdraw from alcohol on his own.”  The statement goes on to describe the painful struggle Nelsan faced in his life– “According to his father, during his withdrawal from alcohol he had a blood infection, his kidneys shut down, his liver was swollen, his blood pressure plummeted, and his dear sweet heart raced out of control.”

Ellis’ family says the young actor’s final four days were spent fighting for his life in the hospital.  Ellis had become a fan favorite as the character Lafayette on the vampire drama “True Blood” that aired for seven years on HBO. While Ellis loved being in the spotlight as one of the cast members on a hit TV show, his family says he fought diligently to keep his addiction from his fans and public.  In the statement, Ellis’ family says, “Nelsan was ashamed of his addiction and thus was reluctant to talk about it during his life. His family, however, believes that in death he would want his life to serve as a cautionary tale in an attempt to help others.”

While the star’s death has fueled social media since Saturday, no one is talking about his addiction. Instead fans and co-stars are sharing loving memories of the talented actor and the huge loss to the world with his death—none more poignant than an IG tribute posted by Ellis’ “True Blood” co-star Anna Paquin….



Another co-star, Stephen Moyer said of Ellis, “I think it would be fair to say that he taught all of us that intent and courage and fearlessness and freedom are the aspects of playing make-believe that spark the corners of the room where the dark is most impenetrable; to shine a light on those corners within ourselves is the very reason we go back time and again to Movies, TV shows and Theatre,”

TRN extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends and fans of Nelsan Ellis.  Though your life may have been filled with struggles and tears, our prayer is that Ellis can finally rest in paradise.


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