Friday, 9 March 2012

Spartacus: Blood and Sand - A tribute to Andy Whitfield

- Tribute to the late Andy Whitfield aka 'Spartacus', who died of cancer age 40 -

A brilliant series for television; gritty, violent, explicit in many ways, but full of twists and turns and never fails to deliver. Filmed in the style of that great Spartan film, '300', everything was done in studio with green screen CGI for backdrops. Read on...

The series lead, Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2010, and such was their dedication to Andy, the studio decided to wait for his recovery in order for him to continue his role as Spartacus in season 2. In the meantime Starz studio film a prequel to Blood and Sand, entitled: 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' - a six part mini series that addresses and answers many issues from S:BS, and gives more background to other characters from the first series.

Given the all clear by doctors in 2010, Andy Whitfield was excited and enthusiastic about his return to the role that he had made his own, as were his co-stars. In a San Diego 2010 Comic-Con convention, USA, Andy was clapped and cheered as he made his entrance, eventually followed by Lucy Lawless, John Hannah, Viva Bianca and script writer Steven S. DeKnight. Sadly, Andy's enthusiasm and optimism was cut short in 2011 and the cancer the doctors had thought cured overwhelmed the young actor.
He died peacefully, at home, surrounded by his family and loved ones.

Rather poignant that his character, Spartacus, fought for his life daily, and in the real world Andy was forced to battle for every remaining day of his life. As character and man, both eventually lost their battles. Such a sad loss of life to a vile and despicable disease. He showed great promise as an actor, and will be greatly missed.

To a fellow Welshman, rest in peace, battle no more.


  1. I am a sucker for gladiator stuff. I find that facet of history so interesting. Hell, even as a kid my favorite "Where's Waldo" puzzle was the gladiator themed one!

    I really enjoyed the Spartacus series. I found the combat and style to be incredible but looking back on what I watched, I find myself drawing a blank. I see that happening more and more with television series'. While I watch them I am amazed - but afterward I find them only so-so.

    It is always sad when someone passes away so young, and regardless of what I think of the show in total, he did an amazing job in his role.

    Oh, and I found one half of the waldo gladiator pic here:

    1. I'll be sure to check out your link, Matt. It's a shame you feel the way you do after a series like Spartacus, but in terms of series I'd rather Spartacus over others like '24', or 'Lost' - the latter just got bizarre beyond belief.

  2. That's so sad :(

    I have wanted to watch this show for ages, in fact, I'm sort of desperate to watch it. But it's so graphic!! I've seen a few minutes here and there but it just scares me so much!! Maybe one day I'll be able to bring myself to watch it, but for now I have to listen from behind a cushion!

  3. I've only watched the first two episodes of Spartacus, but I really liked the actor. It's such a shame that he died so early.

  4. Oooh I didn't know Sigur Ros are touring again! A couple of years ago I went to see Jonsi play in London and he was amazing so I can only imagine how they would be. But wouldn't it be amazing to go watch them in an outdoors concert in Iceland?! Just imagine! Have you seen Heima, their dvd? It's really lovely!

  5. That is so sad. I haven't watched any of them, but they do look pretty awesome.

  6. I would love to take a peek at the videos/link :) Thank you for letting me know!

  7. I don't have cable and missed Spartacus. But I love all historical series so I'll catch it eventually.

    My brother-in-law died of the same cancer, nearly at the same age. It's a cruel disease. RIP Andy Whitfield.

  8. Maria,

    So sorry for your loss. There are never the right words or enough words to convey either the grief one feels or the sense of mourning at the passing of a loved one. But thank you for commenting, it is appreciated.

  9. I loved Andy's role in the 1st Spartacus series...The next series that followed was not the same without him. Andy you will be missed so much talent gone very sad so young. (RIP)