Nelsan Ellis funeral will be open to public

A public funeral for Nelsan Ellis will be held on July 22 at Holy Temple Cathedral in Harvey, Illinois.

Published: 16th July 2017 11:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th July 2017 11:18 AM   |  A+A-

In this June 21, 2011 file photo, Nelsan Ellis arrives at the premiere for the fourth season of HBO's 'True Blood' in Los Angeles. | AP


CHICAGO: A public funeral for "True Blood" star Nelsan Ellis will be held on July 22 at Holy Temple Cathedral in Harvey, Illinois.

Prior to the funeral, there will be a public viewing on July 21 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Leak and Sons Funeral Home in Country Club Hills, Illinois. Pastor Tyrone Gaston will officiate at Saturday's service, starting at 11 a.m., reports

Ellis died on July 8 from heart failure complications at age 39. His family issued a statement attributing the heart failure to longtime alcohol and drug abuse.

The actor was born in Harvey, Illinois, and lived in Alabama with his aunt and siblings before moving back to Chicago at age 15. After joining the Marines for a short period of time, he studied at Illinois State University and went on to get a degree from Juilliard School. 

In addition to his role as Lafayette Reynolds on HBO's "True Blood", he also appeared in "The Soloist", "The Butler", "Elementary" and "The Help".

Ellis is survived by his grandmother, his father and his son, Breon, as well as seven siblings.

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