Sad news tonight out of the TV world as Andy Whitfield, the former star of the hit Starz series Spartacus: Blood and Sand, has died after a battle with cancer. The actor died on September 11, 2011, of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Sydney, Australia, after an 18-month fight. He was 39.
While many may not have known his name going into the show, his turn as the show’s lead was so well received that instead of recasting the character right away, the show halted their production for the second season while he fought his illness. In the meantime, they worked on a prequel while he was in treatment in hopes of his return to the series. Eventually, with Whitfield’s blessing after his cancer returned, the role was recast with Australian actor Liam McIntyre taking over the lead.
Now, personally, while I’m not too familiar with the show or Whitfield’s work on it, this is deeply sad news. He’s been garnering huge buzz for his performance here, and it’s definitely a sad loss, particularly since it looked as though he was winning this fight. Hopefully this won’t hinder the show itself as it was a really well received series, but at this point, the only thing that matters is letting the family and friends of this beloved up and coming actor know that all of our thoughts are with them. Rest in peace.
Andy Whitfield – RIP
July 17, 1972 – September 11, 2011
This is very upsetting. Very talented actor who should have gotten to do much more. Yet the Kardashians, Snooki and Lohan live to waste oxygen another day. http://bit.ly/qgQx3A
Comment by ComLike — September 12, 2011 @ 1:20 am
Very sad news. I was among the fans that watched Spartacus from the first episode, and it was a great series. Rare for an unknown actor to be able to carry a series on so many levels, and to this, that the nature of the series literally showcased his physicality. He looked incredible, so for him to become a victim of disease in such a short time, it’s disturbing. Anyone who likes good action should check out the series. Luckily for us, the first season has a complete story arc, and Whitfield was in every episode.
Comment by John Krabbe — September 12, 2011 @ 2:41 pm
I didn’t know Andy Whitfield before Spartacus but he was Awesome in that role.. I don’t envy Liam McIntyre as he tries to fill the role, as Andy has set the bar so very high..
Comment by Bill Steward — September 12, 2011 @ 3:45 pm
[…] ‘Spartacus’ Star Andy Whitfield Dies At Age 39 […]
Pingback by Social Blend » Blog Archive » Social Blend 171: Get Off My Lawn — September 15, 2011 @ 2:11 am