Andy Whitfield, the star in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, has died at the age of 39. He passed away yesterday in Sydney merely 18 months after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
According to the Associated Press (via Huffington Post), Andy’s wife issued a 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.”
Andy was actually born in Wales and moved to Australia in 1999. When he was cast as the title role in Spartacus, he was an unknown actor. The break out role became a hit on the Starz network during its first season last year. Sadly, the actor was getting ready to shoot the second season when he received the grim cancer diagnosis.
Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht issued a statement last night: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Andy Whitfield. 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.”