Andy Whitfield always commanded attention in front of the camera. The fashion model-turned-actor first gained a foothold with appearances on Australian television dramas before winning the title role in the blockbuster action-thriller, "Gabriel" (2007), as an archangel who fought to save the souls in purgatory. The physically challenging part likely prepared Whitfield for his next role as the infamous Roman gladiator on the American historical drama, "Spartacus" (Starz!, 2010-13). As the fiercely loyal fighter with the killer instincts, Whitfield quickly gained a multitude of fans in the United States and made the show one of the network's top draws. However, shortly after the show's first season wrapped in March 2010, Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The brave actor received immediate treatment after his diagnosis, and was given a clean bill of health in June. The good news was short-lived, however; in September that year, Whitfield stepped down from his role following his doctors' advise to resume aggressive cancer treatment. The saddening news sent shockwaves to Whitfield's family, peers, and his fans - a testament to the actor's undeniable talent and dedication to his craft.