For Health issues, he has cancer :(
A very unfortunate story to report here, as news comes in thatSpartacus: Blood and Sand star Andy Whitfield is dropping out of Season 2 of the series, due to the recurrence of cancer. Deadline is reporting the news, as Whitfield and Starz have put out a joint statement about the situation.
Whitfield was diagnosed with treatable Stage 1 non-Hodgkin lymphoma earlier this year. After his initial treatment, he was in remission and cleared to return to work on Spartacus. In the interim, Starz had delayed production on Season 2 and ordered a prequel series, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (starring John Hannah and Lucy Lawless), which is currently filming for a January debut.
In the statement released by Whitfield and Starz, they note his doctors have advised he "immediately resume aggressive treatment for a recurrence of cancer."
Said Whitfield, "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."
"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."
Starz stresses they have not yet made a decision about how to proceed next, as no doubt the speculation will begin over whether they will recast, delay the series indefinitely or end it all together. "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."