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'Spartacus' Star Andy Whitfield Has Died at 39

Date September 11, 2011
'Spartacus' Star Andy Whitfield Has Died at 39 Andy Whitfield, who played the title role in the first season of Starz's 'Spartacus,' passed away Sunday. The actor was 39.

"No words to express the depth of such a loss," 'Spartacus' creator Steven DeKnight said Sunday evening on Twitter. "You will be deeply missed, my brother."

According to a statement released to the AP by Whitfield's family, he...

'Spartacus' Star Andy Whitfield Has Died at 39 Andy Whitfield, who played the title role in the first season of Starz's 'Spartacus,' passed away Sunday. The actor was 39.

"No words to express the depth of such a loss," 'Spartacus' creator Steven DeKnight said Sunday evening on Twitter. "You will be deeply missed, my brother."

According to a statement released to the AP by Whitfield's family, he died at home, "on a sunny Sydney morning, in the "arms of his loving wife." His wife Vashti called him a "beautiful young warrior."

Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma 18 months ago, and had been battling the disease since then. He had hoped to return to 'Spartacus' for the show's second season, but a recurrence of his illness prevented that.

Eventually he had to leave the role entirely, and, after the Starz made the prequel series 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' (in which Spartacus did not appear), Australian actor Liam McIntyre was cast in the lead role of the next full season of the show, 'Spartacus: Vengeance.'

At Comic-Con in 2010, Whitfield thought he'd still be returning to the show; he got a hero's welcome from fans, who had vociferously expressed their support for him since the news of his illness broke. No wonder: He'd grown as an actor before our eyes in that first season; his Spartacus was a compelling and charismatic man, one who grew more complex as the season wore on.

I was lucky enough to sit down with Whitfield for a one-on-one interview with Whitfield at that Comic-Con, and he struck me as a thoughtful man, one who was serene and positive, despite all he'd been through. He had that typical Australian light-hearted sense of humor, but there was a serious energy about him as well. I had very much hoped to see him return to the screen and share all those qualities with us again.

I'm sure I speak for all 'Spartacus' fans when I say that our hearts go out to his family and friends.

Read more http://www.aoltv.com/2011/09/11/spartacus-star-andy-whitfield-has-died/

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