'Elementary,' 'True Blood' Actor Nelsan Ellis Dead at 39

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Michael Parmelee/CBS

Pictured Nelsan Ellis as Shinwell Johnson on Elementary

Nelsan Ellis' manager announced Saturday the True Blood and Elementary actor, who was also a playwright, has died at the age of 39.

His film credits include The SoloistThe Help and Get On Up.

Elementary: Nelsan Ellis on His Recurring Role as Shinwell Johnson

Elementary: Nelsan Ellis on His Recurring Role as Shinwell Johnson

The True Blood vet plays an ex-con trying to straighten himself out by helping Holmes and Watson.

"Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure," Emily Gerson Saines told The Hollywood Reporter. "He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed."

"We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis," HBO said in a statement to People magazine. "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 Memoriam: TV Stars Who Died in 2017

In Memoriam: TV Stars Who Died in 2017

Gone but not forgotten, these personalities certainly had and impact on television.

By Karen Butler

Originally published in UPI Entertainment News.