Andy Whitfield, who played Spartacus in “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” Starz television series, died on September 11 in Sydney, Australia.
“On a beautiful sunny Sydney … 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.” Declared Vashti, his widow.
The Welsh artist was diagnosed with early stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma in March 2010 and was treated in New Zealand. He had begun to act in “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” in January 2010 and had to took a supposedly temporary leave.
Waiting for Andy Whitfield‘s return Starz Entertainment filmed a prequel, “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena”, with a brief voice over from him.
The actor was declared cancer-free in June 2010, but a recurrence of the lymphoma appeared in September 2010.
Andy Whitfield, born in Amlwch, Wales, lived in Australia and became famous when he started to play a film series that uses sex and violence to describe the life of Spartacus, the Thracian gladiator who led a slave rebellion against the Roman ruling class from 73 to 71 B.C.
The Spartacus part for the second season was given to Liam McIntyre, an actor from Australia, who said: “Andy’s such a wonderful actor. I don’t want to follow that guy, and everybody hurts that he’s had to give up the role, myself included.”
Andy Whitfield died only 18 months after his blood cancer diagnosis and is survived by his wife, his two children and his sister, Laura.
“The man who played a champion on-screen was also a champion in his own life” and fought cancer with “courage, strength and grace,” said Chris Albrecht, Starz president.
“No words to express the depth of such a loss. You will be deeply missed, my brother.” Said Steven DeKnight, the creator of Spartacus, about Andy Whitfield.
Andy was “a gentle man who never said a bad word about anyone, a gifted photographer, engineer (no really!) and a brilliant actor. Andy’s incandescent film presence made men want to be him and women want to marry him. Andy’s two babies will always know that their Daddy cherished them and their mother, Vashti, above all things. How lucky we were to have him grace all our lives. Godspeed, Andy!” said Lucy Lawless (known for Xena: Warrior Princess), who played Lucretia as Andy Whitfield’s co-star in “Spartacus: Blood and Sand”.