Australian actor Andy Whitfield died over the weekend after an 18-month battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Whitfield, who was perhaps best known for his role on Starz’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand, was surrounded by his family when he passed away on Sunday. He was 39.
Whitfield’s wife, Vashti Whitfield, confirmed his death in a statement. “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 help carry him to this point. He will be remembered as the inspiring, courageous and gentle man, father and husband he was,” the statement said.
Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said everyone at the network is “deeply saddened” by Whitfield’s passing. “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,” Albrecht added. “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.”
Before landing the role of Spartacus, Whitfield starred in numerous Australian TV shows, including All Saints, Packed to the Rafters and McLeod’s Daughters. He was diagnosed with cancer in March 2010 and left Spartacus later that year. Whitfield was replaced by Australian actor Liam McIntyre.
Besides his wife, Whitfield is survived by two children.