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'Spartacus' Star Andy Whitfield

Dead at 39

9/12/2011 5:05 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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Andy Whitfield -- who left the show "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma -- died today in Sydney, Australia. He was 39.

Whitfield's wife issued a statement, saying her husband died on a "sunny Sydney morning" in the "arms of his loving wife."

Chris Albrecht, President and CEO of Starz (which aired "Spartacus"), released a statement saying, "We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Andy Whitfield. We were fortunate to have worked with Andy in 'Spartacus' and came to know that the man who played a champion on-screen was also a champion in his own life."

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