Andy Whitfield, 1974-2011


?I’m sorry to start off the day and the week with such sad news, but Andy Whitfield has passed away at the age of 37. Whitfield played Spartacus in Starz’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand series and was about to shoot the sequel when he was diagnosed with cancer. Starz was gracious enough to give Whitfield time to recover — yes, it was the humane thing to do, but Hollywood is rarely known for being humane — while they made a prequel series instead. It was hoped that Whitfield would be in remission for the second series, but the cancer returned. He died only 18 months after first being diagnosed.

I don’t know why this is hitting me so hard. Maybe because he was so young, maybe because he left behind two young children. Maybe because he’s just gotten his big shot with Spartacus — he’d only been in a few Australian TV shows before being cast — only to have it taken away so quickly. Maybe because I had a very close friend who was diagnosed with what Whitfield had, a non-Hodgkin lymphoma; she survived and has been in remission for more than a decade, but seeing those words still makes me cold. I don’t know. All I know is that Andy Whitfield died too young and too soon.