Nelsan Ellis

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Nelsan Ellis
Nelsan Ellis at True Blood premiere party.jpg
Ellis in June 2009
BornNovember 30, 1978 (1978-11-30) (age 35)
Harvey, Illinois, U.S.
EducationJuilliard School (B.F.A. 2004)
OccupationActor, Playwright
Years active2002–present
 
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Nelsan Ellis
Nelsan Ellis at True Blood premiere party.jpg
Ellis in June 2009
BornNovember 30, 1978 (1978-11-30) (age 35)
Harvey, Illinois, U.S.
EducationJuilliard School (B.F.A. 2004)
OccupationActor, Playwright
Years active2002–present

Nelsan Ellis (born November 30, 1978[1]) is an award-winning American film and television actor and playwright. He is well known for his role as Lafayette Reynolds in the HBO series True Blood, which he has been playing since 2008.

Early life and education[edit]

Ellis was born in Harvey, Illinois,[2] near Chicago. When Ellis and his siblings were younger, their mother, a single parent after her divorce from her children's father, broke down over the death of her brother. Ellis and his siblings became wards of the state as a result. They were then raised in Bessemer, Alabama, by their grandmother. In Alabama, Ellis attended Jess Lanier High School for a year, then transferred to McAdory High School.[3] He moved back to Illinois at age 15, where he lived with his maternal aunt, and in 1997 he graduated from Thornridge High School in Dolton, Illinois.

He joined the United States Marines at the age of 17, but quit not long afterwards.[4] When Ellis was 21, he was accepted for enrollment at the Juilliard School's[4] Drama Division (Group 33: 2000–2004)[5] where he befriended True Blood-colleague Rutina Wesley[4] (Group 34: 2001–2005).[5] Ellis earned a B.F.A. degree from Juilliard in 2004.[6]

Awards[edit]

Nominations[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Film
YearFilmRoleNotes
2002LostHoffaShort film
2005Warm SpringsRoy CollierTV movie
TrespassTrespass
2008The ExpressWill Davis, Jr.
2009The SoloistDavid Carter
TalentTitus
2010SecretariatEddie Sweat
2011The HelpHenry the Waiter
2012The Reluctant FundamentalistWainwright
2013Page 36Writer and DirectorShort Film
The ButlerMartin Luther King, Jr.
2014Get on Up
Television
YearTitleRoleNotes
2005The InsideCarter Howard13 Episodes
2007Veronica MarsApollo BukenyaEpisode: "I Know What You'll Do Next Summer"
Without a TraceDeng NimieriEpisode: "Lost Boy"
2008–PresentTrue BloodLafayette ReynoldsRegular

Won Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film

Won Satellite Award for Best Cast – Television Series

Nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Won Ewwy Award for best supporting actor in a Drama series

Won NewNowNext Award for Brink of Fame: Actor

Nominated for a Scream Award for best supporting actor

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nelsan Ellis". Yahoo! TV. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  2. ^ Herrmann, Andrew (November 22, 2008). "'True Blood' actor Nelsan Ellis credits Thornridge teachers with on- and off-screen success". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on January 6, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2009. "Ellis, now 30" 
  3. ^ Sharp, Dave (August 9, 2009). "'True Blood's' Lafayette a glamorously shady character". The Birmingham News. Retrieved August 9, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c Gopala, Nisha (July 7, 2011). "Nelsan Ellis on True Blood’s Season of the Witches, Lafayette’s Mohawk, and Dodging the Marines". Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. May 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. Retrieved April 6, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Juilliard School Newsletter". September 6, 2011. Retrieved April 6, 2012. [dead link]
  7. ^ "2008 13th Annual SATELLITE Awards Nominees". International Press Academy. Archived from the original on December 18, 2008. Retrieved December 15, 2008. 
  8. ^ "NewNowNext Awards: Who Won?". Retrieved on May 23, 2009.
  9. ^ "Scream 2009 Best Supporting Actor". Retrieved on September 1, 2009.

External links[edit]