One of the stars of the popular historical drama Spartacus has died aged 49 following a lengthy battle with cancer. 

Ioane ‘John’ King was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma cancer in January of this year, and it quickly spread to his pancreas and other organs. 

Although the diagnosis was terminal, the Kiwi actor had started chemotherapy in March in a bid to slow down the progression.

Spartacus star Ioane King died on Monday following a seven month battle with cancer. King pictured in a promo for the Starz series

Spartacus star Ioane King died on Monday following a seven month battle with cancer. King pictured in a promo for the Starz series

King played the gladiator Rhaskos in the popular Starz franchise Spartacus.

He originally started off as an extra, but his role was gradually expanded and he eventually ended up with speaking parts and become popular with fans. 

Tributes have poured in from his co-stars and friends since his death, including an emotional post from Manu Bennett, who played Crixus in Spartacus. 

‘John had a long battle with cancer but faced that fight with dignity & a constant resolve not to be defeated,’ Manu wrote.

King was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma cancer in January of this year and it quickly spread to his pancreas and other organs

King was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma cancer in January of this year and it quickly spread to his pancreas and other organs

King (left) played the gladiator Rhaskos in the popular Starz franchise Spartacus

King (left) played the gladiator Rhaskos in the popular Starz franchise Spartacus

‘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 continued.  

‘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!” 

‘He was one of the boys who held the team together & wore the B brand for the House Of Batiatus upon his forearm with so much pride. Ioane (John) King was truly one of the Brothers.’

Before his death, some of King’s family members set up an online fundraiser to raise money to complete the home he bought with his wife Christelle.

Tributes have poured in from his co-stars and friends since his death, including an emotional post from Manu Bennett (pictured), who played Crixus in Spartacus

Tributes have poured in from his co-stars and friends since his death, including an emotional post from Manu Bennett (pictured), who played Crixus in Spartacus

'John had a long battle with cancer but faced that fight with dignity & a constant resolve not to be defeated,' Manu wrote

‘John had a long battle with cancer but faced that fight with dignity & a constant resolve not to be defeated,’ Manu wrote

The couple had purchased the home just six weeks before King was diagnosed with cancer.

‘They put their life savings into building a new home and intended to continue to work on it for the next years,’ read the fundraiser.

‘But the pride and happiness surrounding this project were struck down. Six weeks after moving into their home total devastation hit with John’s diagnosis. They have had to reassess their priorities completely,’ it continued.

‘To his family John is our golden child. To his friends he is the most amazing, selfless soul we know. To everyone else, John is a wonderful stranger who makes this world better simply by being who he is.’

King is pictured in April, after beginning chemotherapy to slow the progression of his cancer

King is pictured in April, after beginning chemotherapy to slow the progression of his cancer

King isn’t the only cast member from Spartacus who has lost their life to cancer.

The show’s lead, Welsh actor Andy Whitfield, was diagnosed with stage IV non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2010, and died 18 months later on September 11, 2011 at age 39.

His career and cancer battle were captured in the 2015 documentary, Be Here Now: The Andy Whitfield Story.

The film also focused on his relationship with wife Vashti and their two children.

The late actor is pictured with his wife Christelle. They had purchased their first home together just weeks before he was diagnosed with cancer

The late actor is pictured with his wife Christelle. They had purchased their first home together just weeks before he was diagnosed with cancer

Vashti spoke to Daily Mail Australia in 2016 about watching the documentary, saying: ‘We get to hang out again for two hours and I get to see him as a father and the moments I shared with the love of my life.’

She added: ‘Andy and I wanted to make the film to show people that whatever happens it’s an opportunity to grow and seize the moment.’

Spartacus premiered on Starz in 2010 and ran for four seasons.

It became popular with critics and audiences alike, and has since spawned comics, novels, and a video game. 

Welsh actor Andy Whitfield, who played the lead role in the first season of Spartacus, was diagnosed with stage IV non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2010, and died 18 months later on September 11, 2011 at age 39. Whitfield is pictured in the series

Welsh actor Andy Whitfield, who played the lead role in the first season of Spartacus, was diagnosed with stage IV non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2010, and died 18 months later on September 11, 2011 at age 39. Whitfield is pictured in the series



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Originally posted 2022-08-20 12:56:38.