‘Spartacus’ star Andy Whitfield dies


LOS ANGELES — Andy Whitfield, who appeared in the
Starz period drama “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” has died, the network

Whitfield died Sunday of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Sydney, Australia. He was 39.

wife, Vashti Whitfield, issued the following statement: “On a beautiful
sunny sydney spring morning, surrounded by his family, in the arms of
his loving wife, our beautiful young warrior Andy Whitfield lost his 18
month battle with lymphoma cancer. He passed peacefully surrounded by
love. Thank you to all his fans whose love and support have help carry
him to this point. He will be remembered as the inspiring, courageous
and gentle man, father and husband he was.”

appeared as the gladiator hero in the first season of the cable series
but stepped down from the role before the second season because of his

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of
our dear friend and colleague, Andy Whitfield,” said Starz President and
CEO Chris Albrecht in a statement. “We were fortunate to have worked
with Andy in ‘Spartacus’ and came to know that the man who played a
champion on-screen was also a champion in his own life. Andy was an
inspiration to all of us as he faced this very personal battle with
courage, strength and grace. Our thoughts and prayers are with his
family during this difficult time. He will live on in the hearts of his
family, friends and fans.”

The network last January that Australian actor Liam McIntyre had been enlisted to take over the role.

hard. You kind of wish you didn’t have the opportunity,” McIntyre said
at this year’s Comic-Con about taking on the role. “The best thing I can
do is bust my (butt) … and honor the legacy.”

“Spartacus: Vengeance” is slated to premiere in January.


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