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Australian actor Andy Whitfield, who rose to International fame as Spartacus in the Starz Channel’s “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” TV show, has passed away at the age of 39.
According to his management, Whitfield passed away this Sunday of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Sydney, Australia. He is survived by his wife, Vashti.
Fans of “Spartacus” will recall that the actor was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma nearly 2 years ago, a diagnosis that prompted him to leave the “Spartacus” TV show, which was then preparing for its second season after a break-out first year. For a while there, it seemed as if Whitfield had beaten the disease, and was prepared to return to the show’s second season. That optimistic announcement was later followed by news that he had not beaten it after all, and once again had to withdraw from the role.
Starz, needing a new leading man to continue the show, eventually cast Liam McIntyre, Whitfield’s fellow Aussie, as their new Spartacus. The second season of “Spartacus” is expected to premiere early next year.