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.