True Blood star died from alcohol withdrawal complications

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"His family, however, believes that in death he would want his life to serve as a cautionary tale".

Nelsan Ellis, the actor who starred in HBO's True Blood as Lafayette Reynolds, has died, his manager Emily Gerson Saines, told The Hollywood Reporter.

After the death of "True Blood" actor Nelsan Ellis was announced, his family has issued a statement detailing the circumstances surrounding his passing. For this reason, it's important for those suffering with serious alcohol abuse to seek professional help before attempting to withdraw from the drug. According to Ellis' family members, the actor struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for years.

Ellis' "True Blood" co-star Joe Manganiello shared similar sentiments, saying he was "crushed" and that the actor was "a wonderful person, a pioneer, and a one of a kind artist". Although Lafayette's character was killed off in the Southern Vampire Mysteries, the book series the show was based off, Ellis' character was so well loved that producers made a decision to keep him alive throughout the show's six-year run, Vanity Fair reported. "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", the family said in a statement. "Nelsan will be dearly missed by his fans and all of us at HBO". He also appeared in the films "The Butler", "The Soloist" and "Get On Up" and on the CBS series "Elementary".

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HBO released a statement saying the network was "extremely saddened" by Ellis' death.

True Blood creator Alan Ball called Ellis "a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me". At Addaction, we work with people to detox gradually, reducing alcohol use over time.

Nelsan is survived by his grandmother, Alex Brow, his father, Tommie Lee Thompson, and his son, Breon Ellis.

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