'Spartacus' Star Andy Whitfield Dies Of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma At 39. So Sad.

Mon, September 12, 2011 8:20am EST by 5 Comments
Getty Images, Starz (inset)

Andy’s wife calls him a ‘beautiful young warrior’ in a touching statement.

Andy Whitfield, star of Starz’s Spartacus: Blood And Sand, died Sept. 11 after battling non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for more than a year. Andy’s wife, Vashti Whitfield, released this beautiful statement to 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.”

“He passed peacefully surrounded by love,” the statement continued. “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 originally played the title role in the gladiator series Spartacus: Blood and Sand. When he was first diagnosed with stage 1 non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in March 2010, Starz decided to produce a six-episode prequel series, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, allowing Andy time off to recover. He was declared cancer-free just two months later, and even boasted about his good health at Comic-Con last summer:

“I feel better than ever,” he said in July 2010 during the Spartacus panel at San Diego Comic-Con. “Like, seriously, I feel like I’m 10 years younger. I had a good rest.”

But in Sept. 2010, Starz announced Andy wouldn’t be returning to Spartacus after all, as his cancer returned and he needed to seek “aggressive treatment.” He was replaced by Australian actor Liam McIntyre.

Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht had this to say in a statement to Deadline.com:

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague. [The] man who played a champion on-screen was also a champion in his own life. Andy was an inspiration to all of us as he faced this very personal battle with courage, strength and grace. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”

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