Spartacus star Ioane John King dies seven months after cancer diagnosis

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Spartacus star Ioane 'John' King has died aged 49.

The actor's death comes just seven months after he received a terminal cancer dianogsis.

He was treated for adenocarcinoma cancer in January of this year, and it quickly spread to his pancreas and other organs.

The Kiwi actor started chemotherapy in March in a bid to slow down the disease.

READ MORE: Keeping Up Appearances actress Josephine Tewson dies as tributes flood in

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

He first began working on the series as an extra but his role was expanded after impressing directors who later handed him a speaking part.

Manu Bennett, who played Crixus in Spartacus, has also paid a touching tribute to his co-star

He said: "John had a long battle with cancer but faced that fight with dignity and a constant resolve not to be defeated.

"On Spartacus, John was hired as an extra, but with a powerful presence and ever positive attitude amongst the cast and crew, won himself the speaking role of Rhaskos.

"I remember John most fondly for his huge grin and sparkle in his eye when he would welcome me and others onto set each day offering the gladiatorial forearm handshake and acknowledging in his deep raspy voice, 'Brother!'

"He was one of the boys who held the team together and 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."

Mr King's loved ones have started a fundraiser to support wife Christelle.

The couple had spent their life savings on a home six weeks before the actor was diagnosed with cancer.

The fundraising page reads: "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."

In 2011, Spartacus lead actor Andy Whitfield died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 18 months after he was diagnosed.

The Welsh actor's career and diagnosis was covered in the 2015 documentary, Be Here Now: The Andy Whitfield Story.

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