Star of ‘Spartacus’ Andy Whitfield Dies of cancer


Andy Whitfield, who got popularity, starring in the television series “Spartacus, Blood and Sand” died on Sunday in Sydney. He was 39 years old.

The cause was non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his wife, Vashti, pointed out in a statement. Mr. Whitfield who was from Wales, but lived in Australia, was relatively unknown actor until he was chosen for the series, a sex- and blood-soaked version of the early life of the Thracian gladiator who led a slave rebellion against the Roman ruling class from 73 to 71 B.C.

He took what was supposed to be a temporary leave from the show, which was a moment hit after its January 2010 debut—after a routine check-up in March of the same year, revealed a recurrence of cancer. Starz Entertainment, the premium channel that airs the show, used various actors to film a prequel called “Spartacus, Gods of the Arena,” while awaiting the star’s return. But Mr. Whitfield never recovered enough to come back. Liam McIntyre, a virtual unknown from Australia, took over the leading role for the show’s second season.

Mr. McIntyre said, “Andy is a wonderful actor I do not want to follow the man, and everybody hurts, give it to the role myself included ..”Chris Albrecht, president and CEO of Starz, said in a statement: “The man who played a teacher on the screen, was also a master in his own life.” Said Mr. Whitfield faced cancer with courage, strength and grace,” he added.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Whitfield is survived by two children and a sister. In his statement, his wife described him as “our beautiful young warrior.” She said he died in his arms.

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