Andy Whitfield’s Cancer Has Returned

by on September 18, 2010

in Entertainment

Andy Whitfield

It’s with a saddened heart that I must report that Andy Whitfield‘s cancer has returned.  The return of the disease has prompted Andy’s doctors to suggest an aggressive treatment.

[Updated 9-12-11:  Please see my very sad update on the death of Andy Whitfield.]

As such, Andy Whitfield is again stepping aside from the production of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which again, puts the production of Spartacus in a state of limbo.

As Starz put it, they’ll be addressing their production plans at a later date.

Everyone, please, keep Andy in your thoughts and your prayers.  If you feel so compelled, here’s a link to the National Cancer Institute’s page of links to Cancer Fund-Raising Organizations.  It’s time we need to step up and squash this nasty beast NOW.  Too many friends, loved ones and peers are taken by this thing every day.

After the page break is the press release from Starz Entertainment:

Andy Whitfield, star of Starz’s “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” has been advised by his doctors to immediately resume aggressive treatment for a recurrence of cancer, as a result of which he will not be returning for the series’ second season, which was tentatively set to air in September 2011.

“It’s with a deep sense of disappointment that I must step aside from such an exceptional project as Spartacus and all the wonderful people involved. It seems that it is time for myself and my family to embark on another extraordinary journey. Thank you sincerely for the support so far,” said Whitfield.

“Our hearts and prayers are with Andy and his family during this difficult time,” said Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht. “Andy is not only an incredible actor whose portrayal of Spartacus made an indelible impression on Starz audiences, he is also an amazing human being whose courage, strength, and grace in the face of adversity have inspired all of us.”

No decisions have yet been made about the future of the series. “Right now, we just want to extend our concern and support to Andy and his family,” said Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director, Starz Media. “We will address our programming plans at some later date.”

Starz still plans to air the prequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand in January 2011. Entitled Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, it focuses on the House of Batiatus before Spartacus arrives in Capua and stars returning cast members John Hannah, Lucy Lawless, Peter Mensah and Manu Bennett, along with newcomer Dustin Clare.

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