Andy Whitfield is dead. Andy Whitfield has died of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. I woke up this morning to this terrible news about Andy Whitfield. I never saw or thought this could happen nor did I see it coming. After Andy Whitfield beat Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma down to the point where he briefly returned to his role as Spartacus on Starz’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand‘s second season entitled Spartacus: Vengeance, I thought all was well. Even when he later resigned (written about here: Andy Whitfield exits Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Season 2 to Fight Cancer) when the affliction re-emerged and Liam McIntyre replaced him (written about here: Liam McIntyre replaces Andy Whitfield: Spartacus: Blood and Sand), I thought he would beat it, that it was only a formality, that all would be set right in time.
I was thunderstruck to hear that it gotten the better of him and that he died from it. Jesus Christ, I had really grown to like that guy or rather his persona, what I thought he was like from the few interviews of him I read and saw. This is horrible.
He was the person fans rooted for the most on Spartacus: Blood and Sand. The show and its success opened doors for Andy that he was never able to take advantage of because he was diagnosed so soon after Season 1 of Spartacus: Blood and Sand ended. What a shame. Andy, you will be missed.
From The Huffington Post:
Los Angeles – Andy Whitfield, who played the title role in the hit cable series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” has died at age 39, according to representatives and family.
Whitfield died Sunday in Sydney, Australia, 18 months after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, manager Sam Maydew told the Associated Press.
“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.”