Ioane “John” King, one of the prominent cast members of the Starz drama Spartacus, has died at age 49 of adenocarcinoma cancer, which spread to his pancreas and other organs.
He announced his condition in January. No information on where he died was available.
The New Zealand actor played gladiator Rhaskos in the series.
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. 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 said 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.”
King’s death is the second to strike the Spartacus cast. Costar Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2010 and died 18 months later at age 39.
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