Spartacus' Whitfield Passes Away - Mania.com



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Spartacus' Whitfield Passes Away

Former Spartacus star Andy Whitfield dies at 39.

By Jarrod Sarafin     September 11, 2011
Source: AP

Nearly 18 months after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" star Andy Whitfield has passed away at age of 39. His manager Sam Maydew confirmed the actor's demise with the following statement via his wife, Vashti.

"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," Whitfield's wife Vashti said in a statement. "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 Whitfield — who was born in Wales and moved to Australia in 1999 — was a virtual unknown when he was cast as the legendary Thracian slave in "Spartacus," a role made famous by Kirk Douglas in the 1960 Stanley Kubrick film.

The series proved a breakout hit for the Starz network and made waves with its graphic violence and sexuality.

Whitfield appeared in all 13 episodes of the first season that aired in 2010, and was preparing to shoot the second when he was diagnosed with cancer.

While waiting for Whitfield's treatment and expected recovery, the network produced a six-part prequel, "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena," that aired earlier this year with only a brief voiceover from the actor.

But in January after Whitfield's condition grew worse, the network announced that another Australian actor, Liam McIntyre, would take over the role.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Andy Whitfield," Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement Sunday night. "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."

Whitfield's previous credits included appearances on the Australian TV shows "Packed to the Rafters" and "McLeod's Daughters."

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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sportwarrior 9/11/2011 10:45:31 PM

Very sad. He did an awesome job as Spartacus and I was very much hoping he'd be able to return at somepoint in the future. It's going to be tough for the new guy to come anywhere close to filling his shoes in the role. Rest easy, Mr. Witfield.

doublec 9/11/2011 10:50:00 PM

THIS

WAS

SPARTACUS!!!!!!!!!

A great hero onscreen and an even greater one in real life. Go to rest you've earned, big guy. Thanx for the happy memories.

fallensbane 9/12/2011 12:49:17 AM

Wow. Very sad to read of his passing. I was hoping to possibly see him return down the line as a different character in some sort of story arch, maybe something where he would have been made up to look much different.

R.I.P Man

Chopsaki 9/12/2011 1:01:07 AM

R.I.P

Supes4ever 9/12/2011 1:25:37 AM

 My fellow fans, we should be honored that we were blessed with his presence. and we should take to heart that he died the way he wanted, in The Arena. He was an actor yes, but he was a Gladiator in the fight of his life, and a Gladiator yearns to die gloriously in The Arena. Blood and Honor my friend...

RaM1Lo 9/12/2011 3:37:27 AM

R.I.P., Mr. Whitfield.  Sympathies to his loving family & friends.

marcd30319 9/12/2011 5:05:38 AM

He was taken to soon.  Rest in peace.

jackwagon 9/12/2011 5:33:22 AM

Will someone PLEASE %$#&ing cure cancer already?????

jedibanner 9/12/2011 6:23:39 AM

Sad news, great actor with great presence...it is a great loss to this world.

monkeyfoot 9/12/2011 6:29:45 AM

Good journey to what I'm sure was a good man.

Kind of a double hit for director/producer Sam Raimi. Two people he has worked with, Whitfield and Cliff Robertson gone in the same weekend.

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