Andy Whitfield, the 39-year-old star of the cable series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” has died.
Manager Sam Maydew says Whitfield died Sunday of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Sydney, Australia.
Whitfield’s wife Vashti in a statement called her husband a “beautiful young warrior” who died on a “sunny Sydney morning” in the “arms of his loving wife.”
“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 to Access Hollywood. “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.”
Whitfield — who was born in Wales and lived in Australia — was a virtual unknown when he was cast as the title hero in “Spartacus,” a hit original series for the Starz network that made waves with its graphic violence and sexuality.
Whitfield was preparing for the second season when he was diagnosed 18 months ago.
In January the network announced that another Australian actor, Liam McIntyre, would take over the role.