Birthday: October 17, 1971
Died At Age: 39
Sun Sign: Libra
Born Country: Wales
Born in: Amlwch, United Kingdom
Famous as: Actor
Height: 5'11" (180 cm), 5'11" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Vashti Whitfield
father: Robert Whitfield
mother: Pat Whitfield
siblings: Laura Whitfield
children: Indigo Sky, Jesse Red
Died on: September 11, 2011
place of death: Sydney
Cause of Death: Cancer
education: University of Sheffield
Andy Whitfield was a Welsh actor most known for portraying the titular character in the first season of the Starz series ‘Spartacus’, titled ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’. His untimely death in 2011 due to non-Hodgkin lymphoma is especially tragic because it happened right after he found international recognition for the show. A native of the Isle of Anglesey, Whitfield relocated to Australia in 1999 and worked as a construction labourer. He had always been interested in acting. In 2004, he made his screen debut in an episode of the Australian medical-drama series ‘All Saints’. His first cinematic appearance came three years later in the supernatural action-drama ‘Gabriel’, in which he starred as the eponymous angel. In the next few years, he guest-starred in several TV shows before being cast as Spartacus. He was diagnosed with cancer in March 2010 and subsequently began his treatment in New Zealand. As a result, Whitfield had to leave the show. In September 2011, he passed away at the age of 39.
Andy Whitfield began his career as an actor in 2004 by playing Matthew Parkes in the second-season episode, ‘Opening Up’, of the Seven Network Medical drama series ‘All Saints’. It took him three more years to be cast in his first film, the 2007 supernatural action drama film, ‘Gabriel’. Whitfield played the eponymous character, the archangel Gabriel, who comes to Purgatory in a human form to investigate what had happened to other archangels who had come to the realm before him. Based on the Biblical myths, the film was not a traditional Australian production. It did not receive any government funding and was made on a low budget (A$150,000). After its release, the movie garnered mixed reviews and earned $1.5 million at the box office. Whitfield was initially hesitant about accepting the role because of the lack of a pay check, but his wife had convinced him to do so.
In 2008, he appeared in two episodes of the Nine Network drama series ‘The Strip’ as Charlie Palmer. The show premiered on 4 September and was cancelled after one season due to poor ratings. Later that year, he portrayed a character named Nick Leigh in the tenth episode of the first season of Seven Network’s family-oriented comedy-drama series ‘Packed to the Rafters’. He also made a guest appearance in the final season of Nine Network’s drama series ‘McLeod’s Daughters’.In 2010, he starred opposite Tabrett Bethell in the horror thriller ‘The Clinic’. Set in 1978, the film tells the story of a pregnant girl named Beth (Bethell) who gets abducted while travelling with her fiancé, Cameron Marshall (Whitfield).
Whitfield was cast as Spartacus sometime in the late 2008 or early 2009. The filming began in early 2009. Even before the premiere of the first season, the show was renewed for a second season by Starz in December 2009. It aired between January 22 and April 16, 2010, and accumulated mixed reviews. However, the show was an international success and went on to spawn novels, board games, and comics. Whitfield received positive feedback for his performance with one critic calling his Spartacus “handsome and buff and smart and beastly”.
In August 2010, Whitfield collaborated with Freddie Wong for a YouTube video called ‘Time Crisis’, which was inspired by the video game of the same name. In 2011, he had an uncredited voice-only appearance in an episode of the miniseries ‘Spartacus: Gods of the Arena’.
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Family & Personal Life
Born on October 17, 1971, in Amlwch, Anglesey, Wales, UK, Andy Whitfield was the son of Pat and Robert Whitfield. He had a sister named Laura. Whitfield was educated at Ysgol Syr Thomas Jones and later at Sheffield Hallam University in England, from where he obtained a degree in construction. He then immigrated to Australia in 1999 and began working as a construction labourer in Lidcombe. He began acting and modelling while he was still employed as an engineer and building inspector for a consulting company. As a model, he had been featured in over 40 advertising campaigns in Europe and Asia. Whitfield received training at the Screenwise Film & TV School for Actors in Sydney.
While Whitfield was in London, he met an Iranian-Australian woman named Vashti. Not long after, they started dating and eventually relocated to Sydney together in 1999. The couple got married in October 2001. They had two children, son Jesse Red and daughter Indigo Sky.
Death & Legacy
In March 2010, Whitfield’s doctors told him that he had non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He travelled to New Zealand for immediate treatment. Because of this, the shooting for the second season, ‘Spartacus: Vengeance’, was postponed and the prequel series, ‘Spartacus: Gods of the Arena’, was developed. Despite receiving a verdict of being cancer-free in June 2010, he had a relapse, which was diagnosed during a routine check in September. Whitfield had to then give up the role and Australian actor Liam McIntyre was chosen to replace him.
Whitfield passed away on September 11, 2011, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. In 2015, the documentary made on his fight with cancer, ‘Be Here Now’, was released. His wife co-authored the book ‘Spartacus and Me: Life, Love and Everything in Between’, which was published by Simon & Schuster Australia in 2016.