‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’ star Andy Whitfield leaves show to battle recurrent cancer
I was so excited about the second season of the show but even if Spartacus: Blood And Sand does return for a new season it won’t star Andy Whitfield who played Spartacus in season 1.
Andy said in his statement that he was leaving the show because of cancer. The actor was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma earlier this spring. The production of the show was put on hold and set to start later in summer or early fall when Andy was back to work.
Whitfield responded well to treatment and was considered cancer-free in mid-July. However, the cancer has returned and now the actor, 36, needs “aggressive treatment”.
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,” Andy Whitfield said in his statement. “It seems that it is time for myself and my family to embark on another extraordinary journey.”
According to Starz, the network that produces Spartacus, the show will return next January with six-episode prequel leading up to Spartacus’ arrival. The prequel will focus on Whitfield’s co-stars Lucy Lawless (Lucretia) and John Hannah (Batiatus).
Our hearts and prayers are with Andy and his family during this difficult time,” Starz President Chris Albrecht said. “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.”
Andy, come back soon! Wishing you speed and easy recovery!
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