The star of Starz's hit show Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Andy Whitfield, died in his wife's arms at age 39 on Sunday, September 11, 2011, in Syndney, Australia. The star had been battling a reccurence of non-Hodgkins lymphoma that arose in March 2010, mere months after Spartacus: Blood and Sand premiered to rave reviews. Starz Entertainment decided to film a prequel (Spartacus: Gods of the Arena) while awaiting Andy's recovery, but when the actor suffered a relapse, the network decided to hire Liam McIntyre to take his place in the show's second season.
In a statement to EW, Spartacus co-star Lucy Lawless said of Andy: “Obviously, Andy Whitfield left an indelible mark on all of us in the Spartacus family. He was a gentle man who never said a bad word about anyone, a gifted photographer, engineer (no really!), and a brilliant actor. Andy’s incandescent film presence made men want to be him and women want to marry him. Andy’s two babies will always know that their Daddy cherished them and their mother, Vashti, above all things. How lucky we were to have him grace all our lives. Godspeed, Andy!”
Our deepest sympathies go out to Andy's family and friends.