Though he'd worked in Australian television, the Welsh-born actor was largely unknown to American audiences when he was cast for Spartacus, but the graphic and stylized show quickly gained an audience and Whitfield was set to sign on for the next season when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2010. Starz president Chris Albrecht issued the following statement: "We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague...Andy was a source of inspiration to all of us as he faced this very personal battle with courage, strength and grace."
Whether he might have become a huge star is hard to say, but he brought a powerful charisma to what could have been a schlocky role, and by all accounts was well-liked by everyone he worked with, which is more than can be said of many stars. Deepest sympathy to his family and friends.
And fuck cancer. Just.....fuck cancer.