Sad news here today, as Andy Whitfield - the 39 year old actor who starred as the title character in Starz's Spartacus: Blood and Sand - passed away Sunday due to complications from cancer. The actor had battled on and off with non-Hodgkins lymphoma for years, leading to a delay in a second season of the series, as the creators and actors didn't feel it was right to move on without Whitfield.
However, with Whitfield's blessing, the show continued with first a prequel, and then eventually recasting the part of Spartacus. Starz issued a statement today on Whitfield's passing:
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Andy Whitfield,” said Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht. “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. 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. He will live on in the hearts of his family, friends and fans.”
He is survived by his wife and two children.