Spartacus TV actor Andy Whitfield dies at 39

 

Andy Whitfield, the British star of US TV drama Spartacus: Blood and Sand.

Andy Whitfield, the British star of US TV drama Spartacus: Blood and Sand, has died at the age of 39.

Whitfield died on Sunday in Sydney, Australia, 18 months after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, his family and manager said.

His wife, Vashti, described him as "our beautiful young warrior".

Whitfield was born in North Wales and moved to Australia in 1999. Actor Liam McIntyre took over Whitfield's role in the TV series when he became ill.

"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," his wife said in a statement.

'Courage and strength'

"He passed peacefully surrounded by love. Thank you to all his fans whose love and support have helped carry him to this point. He will be remembered as the inspiring, courageous and gentle man, father and husband he was."

Chris Albrecht, president and chief operating officer of US TV network Starz, said he was "deeply saddened" by Whitfield's loss.

"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," Albrecht said in a statement.

"Andy was an inspiration to all of us as he faced this very personal battle with courage, strength and grace," he added.

Whitfield played the title role in all 13 episodes of the first series, screened in 2010, and was about to shoot the second series when he was diagnosed with cancer.

Spartacus, which attracted media attention in the US for its graphic scenes of sex and violence, was first seen in the UK on the now defunct Bravo channel before moving to Sky One.

In an interview with the Deadline Hollywood website last year, Whitfield said having cancer had taught him some important lessons.

"After the initial shock - I was a healthy young man and had no idea this could happen - it was frustrating that the first season was ending on such a high note."

But he added he then found "time to heal, figure things out and spend time with my family. Stay in the now and enjoy every moment."

Whitfield's Spartacus co-star Lucy Lawless also paid tribute to the actor in a statement to EW:

"Andy Whitfield left an indelible mark on all of us in the Spartacus family," she said. "He was a gentle man who never said a bad word about anyone, a gifted photographer, engineer (no really!) and a brilliant actor.

"How lucky we were to have him grace all our lives. Godspeed, Andy!"

 

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 81.

    Pinponsu Adebayo johnson frm nigeria,I feel teribly bad when i had the news of the young man,may his soul rest in perfect peace Pinponsu Adebayo johnson frm nigeria,I feel teribly bad when i had the news of the young man,may his soul rest in perfect peace

  • rate this
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    Comment number 80.

    Well,we love u,but God loves you most.(R.I.P)

  • rate this
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    Comment number 79.

    An absolute tragic loss my thoughts and prays are with his friends and family.
    Spartacus really was a brilliant tv show hugely popular in our household and since Andy has left I haven't been able to watch the new series.
    He really was an inspiration to all....rest in peace Andy x

  • rate this
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    Comment number 78.

    I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Andy Whitfield. I can only imagine how deeply his loss is felt to his family. He was an exceptional talent and surely destined for a wonderful acting career. I loved his poetrayal of Spartacus, he lit up the screen each time he appeared. I have recently been diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma, and am undergoing treatment at the moment.RIP. Andy.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 77.

    Andy

    You will be missed in our household - what a terrible waste of life

    We love Spartacus and it will not be the same without

    Our thoughts are with your family but you have left some fantastics memories to remember you by

    There is no justice in this world

    RIP

  • rate this
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    Comment number 76.

    Andy will be missed in hollywood and the world at large, we pray that our lord will give the entire families and fans the fortitude to bear the loss. May his soul rest in peace. Amen.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 75.

    So very sad life is cruel sometimes. RIP Andy.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 74.

    I never watched the show, but reading stories like these always hits close to home. Cancer can be an indiscriminate killer. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at age 13 but obviously am one of the lucky ones. My thoughts are with Mr. Whitfield's family and friends.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 73.

    As I woke up and saw the news it hit me, even the most athletic and healthy man can be killed by this little disease.. We need to start cherishing the things we have. Andy was a great actor and Spartacus won't be the same without him that's for sure.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 72.

    I shake my head in wonder and sadness at our readiness to sacrifice our beautiful and precious talent on the alter of political correctness that will not allow even the mention of alternative cancer treatments in the public venue, in spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence that some of them work very well.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 71.

    I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins in 2007;That was not a good year for me,as I also had kidney stones and then broke a leg;I also lost my father,who died following a major operation.
    And yet I count myself lucky;I survived surgery,chemo- and radiotherapy and have seen my sons sit exams,start university courses and generally just grow up.Andy's death is a reminder of what could have happened.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 70.

    Cancer is so cruel, unlike human beings it does not discriminate.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 69.

    As the first series of Spartacus showed, the world can be very cruel, and often it's the nicest people who suffer. The comments on this page show that many people hoped Andy would make a full recovery and return to acting, a profession he clearly showed great talent for. Sadly, even the greatest of warriors cannot win every battle. My deepest sympathies go to his young family.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 68.

    I enjoyed watching the athletic abilities and fine acting talent.
    The series was inspiring for physical self-improvement while helping my weight reduction program both by the example of the male actors as well as the graphic violence helping to reduce appetite.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 67.

    It's such a tragedy of someone who was clearly talented and obviously so young to have died under sad circumstances. He was beginning to be one of my favourite actors after seeing performance on Spartacus. My condolences to the family of their loss.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 66.

    Your death is a pain inside my heart and I will definitely live with it till I join you…The arena was a place you fought to survive, you’re a true hero.
    Which you could KILL THEM ALL my deepest condolence to your wife, family and friends
    I am confident that if this cancer stood as a human or a beast or whatever to challenged you could have fallen. Rest in peace the BRINGER of RAIN…

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 64.

    I'm quite shocked to hear this news because the last I'd heard about Andy he was recovering from his illness. Andy helped to turn what could have been a really bad TV show into one of the most gripping in recent years.

    Consolences to his family and friends. RIP Andy.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 63.

    A sad day. Andy brought Spartacus to life with his own take & style on the character through action and emotion, just like he did in 'Gabriel'. Our sympathies & condolences go to his friends and family.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 62.

    Such a waste. And he never sought attention through it. A lesson for everyone.

 

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