Nelsan Ellis is an American film and television actor and playwright. He is best known for his role as Lafayette Reynolds in the HBO series True Blood, played from 2008 until 2014 and his most recent work starring as Bobby Byrd in the James Brown biopic, Get On Up.
Check out these other amazing facts about Nelsan Ellis:
1. Born on November 30, 1978 in Harvey, Illinois. Following his parents’ divorce, Ellis and his mother moved to Alabama.
2. Attended Illinois State University, where he was a National Champion in Duo Interpretation, among other successes, at the National Forensic Association national tournament and was accepted for enrollment at the Juilliard School.
3. Attended Juilliard and while there, wrote a semi-autobiographical play titled Ugly that was performed at the school and later won the Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award.
4. Won a 2008 Satellite Award from the International Press Academy for best supporting actor in a television series for his role as Lafayette Reynolds in HBO’s True Blood.
5. Cast as Martin Luther King, Jr. in a supporting performance in Lee Daniels’ The Butler in 2012.
6. Joined the cast of Get on Up (film), a biographical drama film about the life of singer James Brown. He portrayed Bobby Byrd, Brown’s long-time friend in 2013.