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True Blood Star Nelsan Ellis’ Family to Open His Funeral to the Public

Nelsan Ellis

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Nelsan Ellis‘ family is opening up his funeral to the public.

According to the Ellis family, the celebration of the late True Blood actor’s life will happen in Harvey, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and there will be a public viewing on July 21 from 6-9 p.m. at Leak & Sons Funeral Home.

His funeral will be held the following day at Holy Temple Cathedral at 11 a.m., according to the Ellis family. Pastor Tyrone Gaston will officiate the service.

The 39-year-old Julliard and Oxford-educated actor, who was also known for his roles in The Soloist, The Butler, Elementary, and The Help, died on July 8 from heart failure complications.

After his shocking death, his family issued a statement explaining that his heart failure was due to longtime alcohol and drug abuse, saying that Nelsan had tried to detox himself off of alcohol.

Two days after Nelsan’s death, his manager, Emily Gerson Saines, released a statement on behalf of the family in an effort to help other people who are struggling with the same addictions he faced.

“Nelsan’s father has bravely agreed for me to share the circumstances of Nelsan’s heart failure,” she said. “Nelsan has suffered with drug and alcohol abuse for years. After many stints in rehab, Nelsan attempted to withdraw from alcohol on his own. 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.”

Memorial donations can be made to Restoration Ministries, Nelsan Ellis Foundation, 6043 Holman Ave., Hammond, IN 46320.

Flowers and gifts may be sent to Leak & Sons Funeral Home, 18400 S. Pulaski Blvd., County Club Hills, IL 60478.

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