18 months ago, "Spartacus" star Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, but after two months of treatment, was deemed to be cancer-free.  After a successful first season on Starz, Whitfield's diagnosis put a hold on the follow-up season.  To allow him time for treatment, the following season was changed to a prequel season.  Several months later, Whitfield announced he would have to leave the show to undergo treatment again, causing Starz to recast the role with actor Liam McIntyre.

Unfortunately, the treatment was not effective and Whitefield passed away Sunday morning at his home in Sydney in the arms of his wife Vashti.  Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht issued a statement after hearing the news on Sunday,

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Andy Whitfield. 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. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. He will live on in the hearts of his family, friends and fans."