Funeral update for 'True Blood' actor Nelsan Ellis

Nelsan Ellis | COURTESY EMILY GERSON SAINES

Nelsan Ellis | COURTESY EMILY GERSON SAINES

They told the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper that a public viewing will be held from 6-9pm on Friday (21.07.17) in Country Club Hills, Illinois, ahead of a funeral service at 11am at Holy Temple Cathedral in Harvey, Illinois, at 11am the following day.

A celebration of his life will occur in his home state of IL with a public viewing on July 21 from 6-9 p.m.at Leak & Sons Funeral Home. Pastor Tyrone Gaston will officiate the July 22 service, starting at 11 a.m.

Ellis was born in Harvey, Illinois.

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Illinois is where the talented actor, who also starred in Elementary, spent a large portion of his life; he was born in Harvey, went to Thornridge High School in Dolton and attended Illinois State University before obtaining a scholarship to the Julliard School in NY, where he studied acting.

According to a statement issued by his family last week, Mr. Ellis died of complications related to alcohol addiction withdrawal: "Nelsan has suffered with drug and alcohol abuse for years". Ellis attended Thorn Ridge High School in Dolton, and later attended Oxford University and Columbia College in Chicago before graduating from the famed Juilliard School.

A statement released by Nelsan's manager Emily Gerson Saines read: "Nelsan's father has bravely agreed for me to share the circumstances of Nelsan's heart failure".

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Ellis rose to fame playing Lafayette Reynolds, a fearless and outspoken gay character - and a fan favorite - in HBO's hit series True Blood.

And Anna's on screen lover and real-life husband Stephen Moyer, who portrayed Sookie's vampire lover Bill Compton on the show, tweeted: "Nelsan Ellis was truly remarkable".

His father Tommie Lee Thompson believed his son's death came as he attempted to "withdraw from alcohol", which led to his heart "racing out of control".

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Memorial donations may be made to the Nelsan Ellis Foundation.

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