Actor Andy Whitfield, who played the title role in the Starz cable series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” died Sept. 11 of non-Hodgkin lymphoma at age 39.
Whitfield was preparing for the second season of the show when he was diagnosed, leading producers to create a six-episode prequel miniseries, “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,” to give him time to recover. He provided a voiceover for the show, but when his condition worsened he was forced to leave the show. Australian actor Liam McIntyre subsequently was cast in the role for the upcoming “Spartacus: Vengeance.”
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Andy Whitfield,” Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement. “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.”
“Spartacus: Blood and Sand” and “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” now are available on DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay Entertainment.
Whitfield also recently starred in the Australian horror film The Clinic, which Image Entertainment released in August.