10:30 AM EDT 03/19/2015
Originally posted 06/25/2012 07:00PM
After months of clashing swords and seeking vengeance, Andy Whitfield – the chiseled gladiator from TV's Spartacus: Blood and Sand – ended the first season exhausted with an aching back.
"It's one of the most extreme things I've ever gone through," he'd recall of the role that made the Welsh-born actor a star. "There was a lot of pain at the end of that. I wasn't sure what it was. And it wasn't going away."
In March 2010 doctors found out why. The then-38-year-old Whitfield had cancer, specifically stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. After a relatively mild round of chemotherapy, by September he felt healthy enough to return to the New Zealand set for season two.
Originally posted 09/12/2011 09:55AM
Andy Whitfield was as brave off screen as he was on it, says the president and CEO of Starz, which is mourning its lost star, who died of cancer on Sunday.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Andy Whitfield," Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht says in a statement about the Welsh-born actor, who was 39. "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," the statement continues.
Originally posted 09/11/2011 10:45PM
Andy Whitfield, who starred in TV's Spartacus: Blood and Sand – only to leave the show to treat a recurrence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma – died Sunday of the disease at age 39.
The actor's wife Vashti said in a statement that the "beautiful young warrior" died on a "sunny Sydney morning" in the "arms of his loving wife," the Associated Press reports.
Born in Wales and a resident of Australia, Whitfield was preparing for a second season in September 2010 when he announced that he would not be returning to the Starz series so he could undergo aggressive cancer treatment. He was replaced by actor Liam McIntyre.
Originally posted 09/18/2010 08:25AM
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.
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner Divorcing After 10 Years of Marriage
Ben Affleck Is 'Devastated' Over Divorce, 'Really Tried to Save Their Marriage': Source
Mom Who Tortured Her Two Children to Death and Stashed Their Bodies in a Freezer: 'If I Had a Chance to Do It Again, I Would'
Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett Reveal the Truth About His Sex Scandal: 'I Brought Pain upon This Family'
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck Will Continue to Live Together
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!