Spartacus Star Andy Whitfield Battles Cancer Recurrence

09/18/2010 at 08:25 AM EDT

Spartacus Star Andy Whitfield Battles Cancer Recurrence
Andy Whitfield
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
TV's Spartacus: Blood and Sand star Andy Whitfield will not be returning to the Starz series for a second season, due to a recurrence of cancer that will require aggressive treatment, the network has announced.

"It's with a deep sense of disappointment that I must step aside from such an exceptional project as Spartacus and all the wonderful people involved," Whitfield, 36, said in a statement. "It seems that it is time for myself and my family to embark on another extraordinary journey."

In March of this year it was reported that Whitfield, born in Wales and a resident of Australia, had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

"Our hearts and prayers are with Andy and his family during this difficult time," said Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht. "Andy is not only an incredible actor whose portrayal of Spartacus made an indelible impression on Starz audiences, he is also an amazing human being whose courage, strength and grace in the face of adversity have inspired all of us."



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