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Spartacus Star Andy Whitfield Battling Cancer


Sep. 18 2010, Published 1:25 p.m. ET

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Andy Whitfield has gone public with his latest battle against cancer, has learned.

The actor who plays the title role in Spartacus, the hit series on cable's Starz network, won't be returning for a second season because he needs to devote full-time to fighting the disease.

"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," the Wales-born Whitfield said in a statement.

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"It seems that it is time for myself and my family to embark on another extraordinary journey."

Whitfield, 36, who now lives in Australia, had revealed in March that he was suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

He has not said if this latest cancer is the same but it will require aggressive treatment, the statement acknowledged.

Whitfield, said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht, is "an amazing human being whose courage, strength and grace in the face of adversity have inspired us all."

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