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For the dark and provocative work, Ellis won Lincoln Center's Martin E. He would spend the next seven years immersed in the world of stage and drama as an actor before making his TV screen debut in 2005.
He spent several years as a stage actor before achieving breakout success on television in 2008, when he landed the memorable role of Lafayette Reynolds on the hit HBO vampire series Born in 1978 in Harvey, Illinois, Nelsan Ellis moved to Bessemer, Alabama, when he was 6 years old, following the divorce of his parents.
Ellis and his siblings—"about eight, give or take," the actor has said—were raised in poverty and became wards of the state, moving constantly from relative to relative while also dealing with the day-to-day difficulties of being black in the deep South: "It was hell," Ellis later said of the experience in a Luckily for Ellis, his mother, aunts and grandmother were still there to support him through his difficult childhood: "They were strong women.
The show's large ensemble cast featured Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Rutina Wesley and Sam Trammell, among many others.
While Lafayette is a small, relatively unimportant and one-dimensional figure in Charlaine Harris's book series of the same name, director Alan Ball worked with Ellis to bring complexity and intrigue to the TV version of the character.
“We can confirm that Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer recently welcomed their twins into the world,” reps for the actors tell PEOPLE exclusively.
But the network or production company does not need to let them out of the contract,” L.
Moyer has two children — daughter Lilac, 10, and son Billy, 12 — from previous relationships.
Born in Harvey, Illinois, in 1978, actor Nelsan Ellis trained at the Juilliard School in New York City.
Alternately flamboyant and hyper-masculine, the televised Lafayette is a gay black man from the South who breaks nearly every stereotype thrown upon him.
'' I didn't like him in the books, but I loved the Lafayette I saw in the pilot," Ellis later stated.
He went on to win the Duo Interpretation Championship on a national level.