November 30, 1977 – July 8, 2017 (age 39)
Cause of Death: Complications from heart failure

Not a huge star, relatively, actor Nelsan Ellis did play some major roles, one of which was Martin Luther King, Jr. in Lee Daniel’s The Butler and James Brown’s associate Bobby Byrd in Get On Up. What Nelsan was probably best known for, however, was his run as a short order cook and drug dealer next to Anna Paquin in the complete series of HBO’s True Blood. Sadly enough, from the statement released by his family, the complications from heart failure were likely due to the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol, which he had been trying to give up.


2002 Lost (short)
2005 Trespass (short)
2008 The Express
Will Davis, Jr.
2009 The Soloist
David Carter
2009 Talent (short)
2010 Secretariat
Eddie Sweat
2011 The Help
Henry the Waiter
2012 The Reluctant Fundamentalist
2012 Naked Eye (short)
The Man
2013 Page 36 (short)
Writer and Director
2013 The Butler Martin Luther King, Jr.
2013 Gods Behaving Badly
2014 Get On Up
Bobby Byrd
2015 The Stanford Prison Experiment
Jesse Fletcher
2016 Little Boxes
Mack Burns
2017 True To The Game


2005 Warm Springs
Roy Collier Television movie
2005-2006 The Inside
Carter Howard 13 Episodes
2007 Veronica Mars
Apollo Bukenya Episode: “I Know What You’ll Do Next Summer”
2007 Without A Trace Deng Nimieri Episode: “Lost Boy”
2008-2014 True Blood
Lafayette Reynolds Main Cast; 81 Episodes
2015 RuPaul’s Drag Race Himself, Guest Judge Episode: “Conjoined Queens”
2016 Send Me: An Original Web Series Benjamin Episode: “Interview One”
2016-2017 Elementary Shinwell Johnson Main Character; 11 Episodes

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