Monday, 12 September 2011

RIP: Andy Whitfield (1972-2011)

Monday, 12 September 2011
I'm saddened by the news that Spartacus: Blood & Sand star Andy Whitfield passed away yesterday "in the arms of his loving wife", having lost his battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The 39-year-old Welsh-born actor's only known for that one TV role, totaling just 13 episodes, but he left an unforgettable impression as the Thracian warrior sold into slavery.

Despite having come to acting in his late-30s, I'm sure Whitfield's career would have blossomed under different circumstances, as he brought a natural charisma and grace to what could have been a rather one-dimensional role.

Chris Albrecht, Starz CEO:

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague. 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."
Steven DeKnight, Spartacus showrunner:

"No words to express the depth of such a loss. You will be deeply missed, my brother."
Norman Buckley, Spartacus director:

"So sad about Andy Whitfield. But a lesson--there are no guarantees. Every moment is precious. Life is a gift."
Lucy Lawless, Spartacus co-star:

"Obviously, Andy Whitfield left an indelible mark on all of us in the Spartacus family. He was a gentle man who never said a bad word about anyone, a gifted photographer, engineer (no really!) and a brilliant actor. Andy's incandescent film presence made men want to be him and women want to marry him. Andy's two babies will always know that their Daddy cherished them and their mother, Vashti, above all things. How lucky we were to have him grace all our lives. Godspeed, Andy!"
Spartacus returns next year with Liam McIntyre in the title role, having already replaced Whitfield with his predecessor's blessing. I'm sure McIntyre's performance will honour Whitfield's turn, but it's a shame the original Spartacus couldn't have continued this on-screen journey.

Andy Whitfield is survived by his two children and wife.