Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Spartacus Star Andy Whitfield Passes On

Andy Whitfield, who starred in the Starz series Spartacus: Blood and Sand, passed on 11 September 2011 at the age of 39. The cause was non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Andy Whitfield was born in Amlwch, Wales on 17 July 1972. He studied engineering at the University of Sheffield and moved to Australia where he worked as an engineer in Lidcombe, New South Wales. In 1999 he moved to Sydney where he attended Screenwise Film and TV School for Actors. He made his television debut in an episode of the Australian TV series All Saints in 2004. He made his movie debut playiing the lead role in the Australian dark fantasy film Gabriel (2007). He would go onto appear in the TV series The Strip, Packed to the Rafters, and McLeod's Daughters. His last film was the Australian thriller The Clinic (2010). Mr. Whitfield would become famous in the United States for playing the title role in the Starz series Spartacus: Blood and Sand. He had taken a temporary leave from the show in the hope that he could recover to do a second season. Sadly, Mr. Whitfield never recovered. It is said that he died in the arms of his wife Vashti.

I must say that I am truly saddened by Andy Whitfield's passing. As the star of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, he was central to the show's success. Mr. Whitfield played the legendary Thracian warrior with a pathos rarely seen in previous portrayals of the historical figure. He brought humanity to the character of Spartacus, tormented by the loss of his wife and the loss of his freedom. At the same time, however, one could see in Mr. Whitfield's performance the steel inside Spartacus which would lead him to spark the most successful slave revolt in Roman history. Andy Whitfield was a fine actor who could well have gone to a highly successful career had he not developed cancer. Brief though his career was, he will be remembered.

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