Andy Whitfield was born in Amlwch, Anglesey, Wales. He studied construction at Sheffield Hallam University in England. He moved to Australia from Britain in 1999 to work as an engineer in Lidcombe, before later settling in Sydney. He appeared in several Australian television series, such as Opening Up, All Saints, The Strip, Packed to the Rafters, and McLeod’s Daughters.
Andy Whitfield gained his first prominent role in the Australian supernatural film Gabriel. He also starred in the 2010 television series Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which was filmed in New Zealand. He portrays a version of the historical Spartacus, although in this retelling he is a conscripted soldier condemned to death who defeats all four of his executioners and is thereby recycled as a gladiator. The actual Spartacus, like this fictional version, led a rebellion against the Romans (the Third Servile War).
In March 2010, Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and began undergoing treatment immediately in New Zealand. This delayed production of season two of Spartacus: Vengeance. While waiting for Whitfield’s treatment and expected recovery, the network produced a six-part prequel, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, with only a brief uncredited voiceover from the actor. Although declared cancer-free in June 2010, a routine medical in September 2010 revealed a relapse and Andy Whitfield was compelled to abandon the role. Andy Whitfield died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in Sydney, Australia, on 11 September 2011, 18 months after his initial cancer diagnosis.
I painted this portrait primarily because I am a fan of the story of Spartacus and all things Roman. My grandfather was the double of Kirk Douglas who played Spartacus in the 1960 film ‘Spartacus’ and I think that’s where my love for the film started. I also wanted a painting that would push my skill levels up and this painting certainly did that. I was fortunate enough to have my artwork chosen for the cover of Airbrush Technique Magazine and had a six page tutorial piece inside the magazine. The same piece has featured in other magazines since.
Giclee prints of ‘Spartacus’ are available to buy for £40.00 direct from me via email, postage to UK mainland is free.