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Liam McIntyre to Replace Andy Whitfield as Starz’s ‘Spartacus’

The Australian actor is bulking up to play the famed gladiator for the show’s second season

Australian actor Liam McIntyre will replace Andy Whitfield on the second season of the hit Starz series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," the pay cable network announced on Monday.

Whitfield was unable to reprise the role due to health complications stemming from cancer, though he has given his blessing to the recasting.

Also read: Starz CEO: 'We All Thought Long and Hard' About 'Spartacus' Season 2

Thus, McIntrye takes over the role of the Thracian warrior who was sold into slavery before rising to lead the slave revolt as the champion of the Roman Republic city of Capua.

McIntyre was one of three actors who flew to New Zealand to audition for the coveted role back in November. His acting ability impressed producers, but he was asked to bulk up to play a believable gladiator.

McIntyre recently appeared in the HBO miniseries "The Pacific," and he's also been seen on popular Australian TV series such as "Neighbours" and "Rush."  The actor just wrapped his first lead role in a feature, the indie film "Frozen Moments."

"Spartacus: Blood and Sand" is scheduled to resume production this spring, and Starz debuts the series' prequel, "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena," on Friday.

McIntyre is represented by Progressive Artists.