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'Spartacus' Star Andy Whitfield, Battling Cancer, Quits Show

Stephen M. Silverman   09/18/10 10:04 PM ET   AP

Andy Whitfield Cancer

NEW YORK — Starz network says "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" star Andy Whitfield is leaving the show to battle a recurrence of cancer.

Production of the "Spartacus" series' second season was postponed this spring when Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The cable television network said Whitfield was responding well to treatment, but the cancer has returned.

The British-born Whitfield played the gladiator hero in the show's breakout first season.

The network said co-stars Lucy Lawless and John Hannah would take center stage for a six-episode prequel leading up to Spartacus' arrival. It will air beginning in January.

In a statement, Whitfield expressed regret at leaving the series while describing his cancer battle "as another extraordinary journey."

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Online:

Starz: http://www.starz.com

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Filed by Katherine Thomson  |