‘Spartacus’ Actor Dead at 49 Following Cancer Battle

One of the stars of the drama Spartacus has died aged 49 after announcing in January that he had cancer.

Ioane ‘John’ King was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma cancer which quickly spread to his pancreas and other organs.

The New Zealand actor played gladiator Rhaskos in the Starz franchise Spartacus.

Manu Bennett, who played Crixus in the show, paid tribute to his co-star on Instagram.

“On Spartacus John was hired as an extra but with a powerful presence & ever positive attitude amongst the cast & crew, won himself the speaking role of Rhaskos,” he said. “I remember John most fondly for his huge grin & sparkle in his eye when he would welcome me & others onto set each day offering the Gladiatorial forearm handshake & acknowledging in his deep raspy voice, ‘Brother!’”

His family shared a statement on Facebook, saying the actor “passed in the company of loving friends and family.”

“John leaves a big hole in this world, having been a wonderful husband, father, son, brother, friend and human being. Those of us lucky to have met him will carry on with his legacy of kindness, positive influence, hard work and love.”

The family earlier had started a fundraiser online saying that John and his wife Christelle had been hit with the cancer news six weeks after they moved into their own home.

King’s death follows the death of Spartacus co-star Andy Whitfield, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2010, and died 18 months later at age 39.

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