Spartacus: Blood and Sand – Andy Whitfield dies of cancer aged 39

by Lisa McGarry

We awoke this morning to the sad news that Spartacus star Andy Whitfield had lost his battle with cancer.

The Australian actor passed away over the weekend, aged just 39, after suffering non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for the past number of years.

Welsh born Andy died in Sydney, leaving behind his wife Vashti and their two young children.

In a statement about his death, Vashti said, “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. 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, husband and father that he was.”

And TV network Starz, who aired Spartacus: Blood and Sand, also paid tribute to Andy, with president and CEO Chris Albrecht saying, “We were fortunate to have worked with Andy in Spartacus and came to know that the man who was a champion onscreen was also a champion in his own life.

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

“Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time. He will live on in the hearts of his family, friends and fans.”

Spartacus, which also starred British actor John Hannah, has caused controversy over it’s first two series, with some viewers blasting it’s excessive use of violence and sexual content, however it has brought in high ratings for the network and for channels all over the globe.

Andy played the lead role of Spartacus in all 13 episodes of the show’s first season, but dropped out of the second run when he was first diagnosed. It had been thought that he may return for the third series, however his role was recast when it was revealed that the disease had returned.

What a very sad loss. Leave your tributes to Andy below. RIP