Spatacus: Blood and Sand star Andy Whitfield will be leaving the TV series due to a recurrence of cancer that will require "aggressive treatment."
The star said in a statement:
"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."
Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma earlier this year and was considered cancer-free after being treated in July.
Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht says:
"Our hearts and prayers are with Andy and his family during this difficult time. 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."
We wish him the best and hope for a speedy recovery.