The family of actor Nelsan Ellis is speaking out about his untimely death on Saturday. Nelsan died from heart failure related to severe alcohol withdrawal or delirium tremens (DTs).

Nelsan’s father said the ‘True Blood’ star struggled with alcohol and drug abuse for years.

The family spoke to The Hollywood Reporter through his manager Emily Garson Saines.

They family is speaking out about Nelsan’s substance abuse struggles to help others who may be struggling with the same addictions.

His father said Nelsan was in and out of drug rehab facilities over the years.

He said after Nelsan’s latest drinking binge, the actor attempted to withdraw from alcohol on his own without medical assistance.

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.

Delirium tremens (DTs) is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal after drinking heavily without food or water for a period of time.

DTs can also be caused by infections or illness.

The patient experiences confusion, seizures, high blood pressure, hallucinations, brain damage, and heart failure. DT is a medical emergency with a high mortality (death) rate.



  • BorgQueen

    Sad to lose another true artist to drugs and alcohol.

  • Ni Ni

    Got dog, he drank like that that, ?.

  • stav

    Hate to hear this, addiction is absolutely terrible, however I am wondering with an addiction that was so severe how was he able to act without needing a drink constantly? Pray his family/friends can and will endure such difficult times!

  • datATLboi

    Sad to see him gone. I was a True Blood FANATIC……until they killed off Tara lol

  • Ni Ni

    Thats what im wondering too. Like was he sipping on liquor all through the day, a functioning alcoholic?

  • stav

    Right! But if he had the shakes, how was he capable of acting without having a drink nearby?

  • Ms.Vanilla

    I’m said to hear of this. I used to drink heavily but never seemed to lose my appetite. In fact, I ate more when I drank. I stopped cold turkey this year. I am 5 months sober… I call myself a recovering alcoholic but after reading this story, I don’t know. Maybe I just drank too much.

  • stav

    Congrats on your 5 months! Keep it up!

  • Ms.Vanilla

    Thanks… I plan to. I can remember when I used to come on here and cut up something… drunk as a skunk….lol

  • http://www.gogirlastrology.com ThaGuru

    The industry is a crazy place to be and it was difficult at times findings work I’m sure. But I loved him and he was talented and I hope his soul is finally at peace. Goodbye Lafayette…

  • Cici

    So sad. R.I.P.

  • morenYAHdelsur

    GO YOU! ????

  • Ms.Vanilla

    THANK YOU DEAR!

  • stav

    A sober mind is a great one!

  • hottlanta

    I had a cousin who died from liver damage because of her drinking and she wasn’t even 40 years old. That is why I don’t get into those reality shows because they always sit around eating and drinking. That is why I tell people if you hang with me you gotta do more than just eating and drinking for a form of entertainment.

  • missmiami305

    Withdrawal is no joke. So sad!

  • missmiami305

    Withdrawal is no joke. So sad!

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    I didn’t like his True Blood character because Laffayette was a fem.
    Most gay men don’t want to be women.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    I didn’t like his True Blood character because Laffayette was a fem.
    Most gay men don’t want to be women.

  • shun king

    i know this chick 40 smokes crack but work. new car , house all that dresses very nice .she told me she just like to smoke about five or 6 rock sometimes been doing it since her 20s

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    They put Tara through pure hell.
    They killed her boyfriend then they turned her into a bisexual then a vampire and finally they put her out of her misery.

  • Kanyade

    I was so sad to hear of his passing. Loved him in True Blood. Loved him in the recent role on “Elementary”, (CBS). Talented dude. RIP Nelsan.

  • Ni Ni

    I still do lol. But i definitely have to watch it , alcoholism runs in my family. l don’t drink every day, but i dont like to have alcohol aying around the house, I’d be sipping every night. i do wonder what state my liver is in ?. Back in my 20s i used to down it straight, mainly on the weekends.. I was a college student ?.

  • Ms.Vanilla

    Chile yes you better watch it. It will sneak up on you real quick. And it’s the devil I tell ya. Never drink alone that’s how it gets you. If you can control it and only drink socially you might have a chance.

  • Ni Ni

    Yeah, i dont mind the functional drug addicts (although sad). They’d rather work than steal to support their habbit.

  • SummerBaby

    Congrats on your sobriety!

  • SummerBaby

    Congrats on your sobriety!

  • Ms.Vanilla

    Thanks Summer…

  • cherrypie

    Bawahhhhhh! I really wish they would release True Blood onto Netflix. I loved that show but I’m not willing to pay $3 per episode!!!!!!!! RIP Nelsan. Gonna miss him!!

  • jeniefrumdablocā„¢
  • klwbaby

    They have breaks to set up another scene so as soon as they said CUT! he probably had to drink.

  • Mbailey

    HAD a friend who drank alone and died of this to everyone’s surprise.

  • Mbailey

    REST in peace, Mr. Ellis. True Blood was only good because of you and the other black people on the show. But season 3 was enough for me. After that, it was all about orgies and monsters. No more intelligent and interesting storylines.

  • Ms.Vanilla

    He probably had liquor in Coke cans, etc..

  • dontgetblocked

    I knew there was more to the story. Alcoholism can and will kill you. Either your liver goes, you drink and drive or DTs. It’s a real disease which is why I give money to homeless people. They have to go to a hospital if they go into withdrawal or they can die. I hate to say it but I wonder if he didn’t seek help on purpose. Maybe he just couldn’t take it anymore.

  • GuestSTAR

    Reading this article made me think about my family. My brother had been on his government job for over 18 years, but do to his alcoholism he lost it. He moved in with our mother and drank ANYTHING with alcohol in it, ANYTHING. She had brandy & wine (mostly gifts) from the early 70’s and he ran through that, SMH.
    He recently died of complications related to his alcoholism. His liver was so bad, he didn’t even qualify for a liver transplant. Towards the end, all his vital organs (kidneys, liver & heart) started to shut down. Last time I saw him in the hospital, his eyes were canary yellow, no signs of the hazel eyes he was born with. His feet were as big as a football they had swelled up that big. It was awful to see him lay in that hospital bed, struggling to speak, trying to hang on.

  • Candy Forester

    šŸ™ sadly I have experienced the cruel aftermath of alcoholism effect on the family. It’s heartbreaking. Stay strong.

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    Congrats #shoutsofpraise

  • Mia Said so

    You just made me cry omg I’m so sorry for your lost.. wow didn’t know it was such a thing.,

  • tintin

    Goodness gracious. Sorry for your loss.

    I came across a man who drinks rubbing alcohol. He said he can’t afford real liquor all the time so he drinks rubbing alcohol straight. This man lives in the hospital weekly the doctor told him, he will die soon as it’s burning his entire inside. Alcohol is a serious poisonous addiction it makes this man settle for a 50 cent bottle of rubbing alcohol.

  • tintin

    Good for you

  • Malcom Flex

    Rest in peace, bro. Now, what happened to him during his childhood that’s the big question most hard core alkies had some serious child abuse.

  • Shira Harding-James

    Isn’t that how Amy whinehouse died

  • BacktolurkingIgo

    Prayers for his loved ones.

  • Wile E. Coli

    Congrats. ! It ain’t easy. I loved very old scotch every evening but.. I just got tired of it. I TRIED my hardest to be an alcoholic though.

  • 4RGSpot

    Wow, that’s horrible. Prayers for his family.

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    Sorry for your loss love

  • Ms.Vanilla

    Thanks Wile…?

  • Ms.Vanilla

    Thank you tintin

  • Ms.Vanilla

    Thank you Vanna! Yes, I owe it all to my savior.

  • Jackie Byrd

    Thank you for sharing this and I can’t imagine how hard this is for your family. My condolences.

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    Yes I’m trying to rid of addictions too so I’m with u praying. Keep up the good work luv

  • Hugga Bunch

    He was more than likely a functioning alcoholic. So sad rip.

  • Wreckognize Game

    I’m sorry for your loss. I know that had to be hard to see a loved one go through that. Much love to you and your family.

  • MythCalledLove

    Just saw a clip of the when he was harassed by a customer making his hamburger. That was hilarious

  • Chaseboogie The Prince

    I think in hollywood they are used to people with addictions. Whether its powder, booze, etc. I think most of Hollywood is messed up.

  • EScrazy

    alcoholism is such a real and deadly disease it hurts everyone who loves you. My fiancĆ© doesn’t understand why I cry for my best friend of 27 years when she told me she needs a Pepsi if she doesn’t drink ?? When it gets to that point you can’t quit how you once could without consequence

  • EScrazy

    So sorry for your loss. That’s very traumatic but hopefully your story saves someone’s life from alcohol

  • OrchidJones-Got Dat Job

    it was a great scene!

  • OrchidJones-Got Dat Job

    I am so saddened by this! RIP fella.

  • http://www.pureromance.com LA

    So sad.. This dude was extremely talented.. May he rest in paradise.. I loved him as Lafayette on True Blood…

  • Ms.Vanilla

    Praying for you Vanna! It’s not easy but with God’s help you can do it. Don’t discount meetings. They helped me before I found a good church and now I don’t go to meetings as often but still do from time to time. At first, meetings gave me something to do during the times when I would drink. They saved me girl. Never give up.

  • Quitedeliteful

    Alcoholism is no joke… My brother got his first job in a bar at 14 (they thought he ws 18) and it was all down hill after that… became an alcoholic at an early age and never ever got better…

  • Quitedeliteful

    So very sad. People don’t think of alcohol as a drug but it’s one of the worst not just for the person drinking but for their family as well…

  • http://www.gogirlastrology.com ThaGuru

    So true!!

  • http://www.gogirlastrology.com ThaGuru

    Omg I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing a sibling is difficult.

  • yvette46

    So sad..

  • yvette46

    Good for you and good luck it’s been two years for me. .started at 12

  • yvette46

    It’s not great dealing with a functional drug addict either because they never want to go ANYWHERE!! On vacations no where far because they cannot find a dope man they are non functional.. ??

  • jeniefrumdablocā„¢

    It’s on Amazon prime… Netflix is contracted with showtime … Amazon Hbo

  • Ni Ni

    You definitely have a point there

  • cherrypie

    Reeeeeeaaaallll??? Good looking out!

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    Thanks love I’m taking one day at a time

  • Ms.Vanilla

    Thanks yvette! Wow! two years… Long as you don’t get comfortable you’ll be ok.

  • Jazzy T

    @msvanilla:disqus
    Thank you for your story, am working on the same issue, like you said it’s very sneaky. I am a very sweet person but when I drank “you will get the business for sure” wish I never started…tooo many glasses of wine will make me regret things i’ve said…

  • Ms.Vanilla

    God bless you Jazzy…
    I wish I could tell you it will be easy but it’s not. You’re right it’s very sneaky and cunning. It will come on you when you least expect it. The best thing you can do is pray, find a good meeting, and practice HALT.
    Never get too
    H- hungry
    A- angry
    L- lonely
    T- tired
    I’m praying for you…?

  • Jazzy T

    Wow thank u for being real

  • Jazzy T

    I can make 100k an still not be happy

  • Ms.Vanilla

    I’m sorry to hear that. Do you drink alone?

  • Ms.Vanilla

    You deserve that much… I hope you have a support group.

  • Jazzy T

    Sorry yup at times…..i know am better then that

  • Ms.Vanilla

    Most alcoholics do. Get to a meeting. Do not be ashamed or afraid. It will change your life. And take one day at a time…Just don’t drink. You will feel so much better. It’s that simple… Just dont drink.

  • Jazzy T

    I need one am in dc wishing for one

  • Ms.Vanilla

    Alcoholics anonymous is there. Let me find the number.

  • Jazzy T

    I dont do FB or or social media but am very pretty but just been hurt

  • Ms.Vanilla

    202 966 9115…
    Alcoholicsanonymous.com

  • Ms.Vanilla

    We’ve all been hurt. Please do mot use that as an excuse to drink. Lord knows I’ve used it before.

  • Jazzy T

    Tamicah.th@gmail.com
    Chat with me later

  • Jazzy T

    Thank u

  • Ms.Vanilla

    Will do… Now delete that.

  • Jazzy T

    I know amma try

  • Jazzy T

    U see my email, dont forget about me

  • Ms.Vanilla

    I will not forget. Will send you an email now just to be sure I have it correct. Wait for it..

  • Jazzy T

    Thank you human

  • Ms.Vanilla

    Email was rejected.maybe I wrote it incorrectly

  • Jazzy T

    Thank you for your response.

  • Ms.Vanilla

    My pleasure but the email was returned undeliverable.

  • Jazzy T

    Cool

  • Jazzy T
  • Jazzy T
  • Jazzy T

    Show how real i am

  • Ms.Vanilla

    I had it wrong… check your email for tamicah… delete your info here

  • Ms.Vanilla

    I’m signing off Sandra rose for the night… sweet dreams !

  • Ms.Vanilla

    Got it..