The beautiful Andy Whitfield has died of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Sydney. The 39 year old Wales native was diagnosed 18 months ago while preparing for the second season of Spartacus. Though he was an relative unknown when the show started, Andy's performance was so strong and iconic that production on season two was halted for about a year in an attempt to give Whitfield time to recover from the disease. During that time, producers shot a prequel series titled Gods of the Arena without Andy. Briefly it seemed he would make it — he was cleared to start work on season two and made a triumphant return appearance at Comic-Con. But Andy soon relapsed. Faced with the decision of either cancelling the series or recasting, Starz and producers opted to hire newcomer Liam McIntyre for the lead role, with Andy's blessing.