Andy Whitfield

Starz plans to pay tribute to Andy Whitfield, the former star of Spartacus: Blood and Sand who died last week after a battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Spartacus star Andy Whitfield dies of lymphoma at 39

Beginning Sunday, Oct. 2 at 9/8c, Starz will air five episodes featuring Whitfield's most-memorable performances, including the series premiere and Season 1 finale. Whitfield, who was virtually unknown to American audiences when he was cast in the lead of the graphically violent and sexual Starz series, died Sept. 10.

"He was chosen after a worldwide search to find the perfect Hollywood star to play the title role with passion and grace," Starz said in a press release. "His fans, friends, and colleagues alike have compared Whitefield's own persona, to that of the noble, brave, honorable gladiator character he played on screen."

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Whitfield was preparing to shoot the second season of Spartacus when he received his original diagnosis. Starz then produced the six-episode prequel series Spartacus: Gods of the Arena while Whitfield sought treatment. Whitfield was declared cancer-free in May 2010 but in September of that same year Starz announced that Whitfield's cancer had returned and the show would move forward without him.

In January, Liam McIntyre was announced as Whitfield's replacement in the title role.