BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Sept. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. cable network Starz says it is planning an on-air tribute to Andy Whitfield, the star of its series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," who died last weekend.
Whitfield lost his 18-month battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma Sunday. He was 39.
To celebrate his life and career, Starz said it will showcase five episodes of the gladiator saga that made him famous, including the premiere and finale episodes, Oct. 2.
"He was chosen after a worldwide search to find the perfect Hollywood star to play the title role with passion and grace," the network said in a news 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."
Australian film and TV actor Liam McIntyre was hired to replace Whitfield in the second season of the show.