Police say no foul play is suspected, while results of an autopsy have not been released.
"So sad to hear of David R. Ellis passing!" Tweeted Samuel L. Jackson, who starred in Snakes. "So talented, so kind, such a Good Friend. He'll be missed. Gone too soon!"
Ellis, who started his career as an actor and stuntman in the '70s, was in Johannesburg to work on Kite, a remake of the 1998 Japanese anime film that also was to have starred Jackson, reports The New York Times.
His credits include Lethal Weapon, as stuntman; Fatal Attraction; and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, as second-unit director, and, as director, Shark Night 3D, Cellular and Final Destination 2, according to IMDB.
Survivors are his wife and three children.