Andy Whitfield, who starred in the television series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” died on Sunday in Sydney, Australia. He was 39.The cause was non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his wife, Vashti, said in a statement.
Whitfield took what was supposed to be a temporary leave from the show, which was an instant hit after its January 2010 debut, after a routine check-up in March of that year revealed a recurrence of cancer.
Starz Entertainment, the premium channel that airs the show, used different actors to film a prequel called “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,” while awaiting the star’s return. But Whitfield never recovered enough to come back.
Chris Albrecht, president and chief executive of Starz, said in a statement, “The man who played a champion on-screen was also a champion in his own life.” Mr. Whitfield faced cancer with “courage, strength and grace,” he said. In addition to his wife, Mr. Whitfield is survived by two children and a sister. In her statement, his wife described him as “our beautiful young warrior.” She said he died in her arms.