Sep 12, 2011 03:08 PM EST

Spartacus Star Andy Whitfield Passes Away

Spartacus Star Andy Whitfield Passes Away
Fans were saddened today, September 12, 2011, to hear that "Spartacus" star Andy Whitfield passed away.  Andy, who was 39, died on Sunday in Australia.  Andy was diagnosed with lymphoma back in March of 2010.  In addition to staring in the television show, "Spartacus", he also was in "McLeod's Daughters" and "The Strip", both television series as well.  In Spartacus, Andy played the title role and helped make the series an instant hit.  After his diagnosis in 2010, Andy underwent treatment in New Zealand, which caused delay of the second season of the show and the filming of a six-part prequel, "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena," for which he did some voiceover work.  A few months after treatment, Andy was initially declared cancer free, but suffered a relapse later in the year that forced him to abandon the role. His wife, Vashti, issued a statement on Sunday confirming his death. "On a beautiful sunny Sydney morning, surrounded by his family, in the arms of his love 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."  Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht, released a statement as well, "We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Andy Whitfield.  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. 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."

Andy was born in Amlwch, Wales in 1974, and moved to Sydney Australia in 1999. He is survived by his wife, Vashti Whitfield and their two children.  Andy Attended Sir Thomas Jones in Amlwch, Anglesey ( a northerly town in Wales).  He also attended Screenwise Film & TV School for Actors in Sydney Australia and later started acting and modeling while working as an engineer and building inspector for a consulting agency.  In 2004, he appeared in the television series, "All Saints", an Australian medical drama, and played the role of Matthew Parkes.
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