Nelsan Ellis

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Nelsan Ellis: Biography in Details

Who was Nelsan Ellis?

Nelsan Ellis was an award-winning American film and television actor and playwright. He was best known for his role as Lafayette Reynolds in the HBO series True Blood.

He was also famous for starring as Bobby Byrd in the James Brown biopic, Get On Up.

Nelsan Ellis: Birth Facts, Family, and Childhood

Nelsan Ellis was born on November 30, 1978, in Harvey, Illinois, United States. Ellis was of American nationality and African-American ethnicity.

He belonged to an African-American family. His parents died when he was a child. After that, Ellis and his mother moved to Alabama.

He had spent his early life and childhood in Bessemer, Alabama, by his grandmother. He had a sister named Alice Ellis who died in 2002.

Education

Nelsan Ellis attended Jess Lanier High School for a year and then transferred to McAdory High School. He moved back to Illinois at age 15 and attended Thornridge High School in Dolton, Illinois, and graduated in 1997.

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After that, he joined the United States Marines for his further education at the age of 17. Shortly, he attended Illinois State University, where he was a National Champion in Duo Interpretation.

Caption: Nelsan Ellis (Source: CNN)

He was accepted for enrollment at the Juilliard School’s Drama Division when he was 21. Ellis earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Juilliard in 2004.

Nelsan Ellis: Professional Life, Career, and Awards

Nelsan Ellis began his writing career while he was at Juilliard. He wrote a semi-autobiographical play titled Ugly that was performed at the school and later won the Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award.

He began his acting career in 2002, playing Hoffa in the short film Lost. He made his television acting debut playing Carter Howard on The Inside in 2005.

In 2007, Ellis was cast as Lafayette Reynolds in the pilot for True Blood (2008-2014). He won several awards for his performance in the TV film.

He won “Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film” in 2008. After a year, he won NewNowNext Awards.

That same year, he won the Ewwy Award for “Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” for True Blood and Scream Award for “Best Supporting Actor” for the same film.

Furthermore, in 2011, Nelsan Ellis won the NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” for True Blood. In 2016, he was cast as the main character in the television film Elementary in which he portrayed Shinwell Johnson.

How much does Nelsan Ellis earn?

He had accumulated a net worth of 3 million dollars as of 2023, but his salary is unknown.

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Nelsan Ellis: Rumors and Controversy

Nelsan Ellis’s played a gay character in the series, True Blood. He played his character so well that there were rumors that he was gay in real life. But those were just rumors.

He was loved by everyone for his on and off-camera works as well and he had not been involved in any controversy in his entire life.

Nelsan Ellis: Death

Nelsan Ellis died on July 8, 2017, at the young age of 39. He was in Los Angeles, California when he took his last breath. The reason for his death was complications from his heart failure.

According to his family’s statement, before his death, Nelsan had been trying to quit alcohol. Due to this, the consequence led to alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

The person who takes excess alcohol tries to quit at once, then suffers from Alcohol withdrawal syndrome. 

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is the symptom where alcohol addicts become the victim as its symptoms are anxiety, shakiness, sweating, vomiting, fast heart rate, and mild fever.

It is said that alcohol withdrawal syndrome led Nelsan to heart failure.

Nelsan Ellis’s Birthday Dates

Year Date Day
2024 November Saturday
2025 November Sunday
2026 November Monday
2027 November Tuesday
2028 November Thursday

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