Nelsan Ellis
via Ronald Woan / CC-BY-2.0

Actor Nelsan Ellis — best known for the role of Lafayette Reynolds on HBO’s True Blood — died recently, after complications from heart failure.

He was just 39 years old. Details regarding his death is currently unknown.

“We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis,” HBO said 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.”

In addition to his performance as Lafayette on True Blood, Ellis also appeared in movies like The Help, The Butler (playing Martin Luther King, Jr.), Get On Up, and The Stanford Prison Experiment, among others.

Ellis leaves behind a son named Breon.