Spartacus: Blood and Sand star Andy Whitfield dies

Welsh-born actor has passed away in Sydney aged 39

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Andy Whitfield, the star of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, has died aged 39.

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The Welsh-born actor passed away on Sunday in Sydney, Australia, 18 months after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“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,” said Whitfield’s wife, Vashti, in a statement.

Whitfield was diagnosed with cancer in March 2010, only to be given the all-clear two months later. He suffered a relapse later in the year and was forced to withdraw from Spartacus after one season of the drama to undergo treatment.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Andy Whitfield,” said Chris Albrecht, president of Starz, the US cable network that produced the series. “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.”

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Before appearing in Spartacus, Whitfield’s previous credits included roles in the TV series McLeod’s Daughters, Packed to the Rafters, The Strip and the lead role in the 2007 movie, Gabriel.