Andy Whitfield dies at 39

Spartacus star Andy Whitfield has died aged 39 after an 18 month battle with cancer.
The dad-of-two (who was born in Amlwch, Wales, but moved to Sydney in 1999) died in his wife’s arms yesterday.
In a statement grieving widow, Vashti, paid a moving tribute to her “beautiful young warrior”.
She 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, father and husband he was.”
Andy’s colleagues on sex and sandals epic ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’ expressed their grief on Twitter.
Director Steven DeKnight wrote – “No words to express the depth of such a loss. You will be deeply missed, my brother.”
Chris Albrecht, president and CEO of US network Starz, which made ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’, added – “We were fortunate to have worked with Andy in Spartacus and came to know that 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.”
The actor appeared in all 13 episodes of the Roman epic’s first series which aired in 2010.
He discovered he was suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma just ahead of shooting on the show’s second series.

Andy Whitfield dies at 39
Andy Whitfield.

“Spartacus” star Andy Whitfield has died after an 18-month battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He was 39.
Whitfield seemed to rise out of obscurity to play the title role in the uber-violent Starz drama. After a smash first season, Whitfield was diagnosed. Starz wanted to keep him so badly in the production, the network made the decision to air a prequel series. Whitfield went in remission and was cleared last year to return to shoot the second season of the show. Then his cancer returned. Whitfield died in Sydney, Australia, surrounded by his family.
Months ago, with his blessing, Starz recast the role of Spartacus. Relative newcomer Liam McIntyre takes over the role when the show returns early next year. He has some mighty big sandals to fill.
Whitfield’s “Spartacus” co-star Lucy Lawless told Entertainment Weekly: “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. … How lucky we were to have him grace all our lives. Godspeed, Andy!”
It’s always a shock when someone so young and seemingly so fit dies. Whitfield was a tremendous talent and had a huge future ahead of him. This one stings today, people. To his fans and his family, all I can say is at least his work will live on.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes video with Whitfield talking about his prep work for the series in “gladiator camp.” He will be missed.

The death of Welsh actor Andy Whitfield aged 39 is terrifically sad. When cast in the leading role of the Starz drama ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’, Whitfield was largely unknown to US and UK audiences, and he dies associated most with that character. It’s a hell of a role to leave behind as your final calling card.
Handled with terrific flair by showrunner Steven S. DeKnight, ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’ took its cues from modern retellings of antiquity such as 300 and Rome, as much as Stanley Kubrick’s 1960′s ‘Spartacus’, yet still managed to create a storytelling ethic and feel all of its own. It was a show you started out watching just to laugh at and stayed with because you couldn’t stop watching.
Whitfield was perfect for this particular Spartacus. You couldn’t just drop some chisel-jawed lunk in the role because fundamentally DeKnight’s Spartacus is more of a lover than a fighter. He is, of course, every bit the beast in the arena, but nothing motivates him more than being reunited with his wife. Not money, glory of combat, even freedom, come close to that.
Whitfield brought a crucial sensitivity to Spartacus, with a vulnerability around women and a civility around men that seemed to come very easily to him. Spartacus is loyal to his friends, can have his heart broken and there is no trace of savagery in him. He’s no barbarian, then, no slave.
Though, when the time came to throw down, he could handle that too. Whitfield was every inch the action hero and the show’s slow-motion fight scenes – where you can’t use doubles – required him to do many of his own stunts. Kill Them All, the epic first season finale which would turn out to be Whitfield’s last episode, combines thrillingly deft storytelling with a series of beautifully choreographed fight scenes, creating one of the best season closers in recent TV history.

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