Spartacus actor Ioane “John” King passed away on Saturday in a string of recent celebrity deaths. Several include Another World actress Anne Heche and Grease icon Olivia Newton-John. At 49 years old, the star of the historical drama succumbed to adenocarcinoma cancer after a months-long battle.
According to the Daily Mail, Ioane “John” King was first diagnosed with cancer in January of this year. After first receiving the diagnosis, the affliction quickly spread to his pancreas and other major organs. The outlet further reports that the Spartacus actor’s diagnosis was terminal. Nevertheless, he began treatments to help prolong his life.
Fans of the historical drama will recall that Ioane King played the gladiator named Rhaskos. Originally, producers cast King solely as an extra. However, the character’s role eventually grew and he became a forerunning character within the franchise.
Following his death, friends and fans alike have shared their thoughts and prayers. King’s Spartacus costar, Manu Bennett, spoke out about the actor’s death in an emotional post.
“John had a long battle with cancer but faced that fight with dignity & a constant resolve not to be defeated,” Bennett began. “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.”
However, while the Spartacus star recalled Ioane King as a talented and committed actor, he also spoke about his personal experiences with him.
“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!'”
Ioane King Sunk Life Savings Into Brand New Home Weeks Before Death
Having begun treatment for his terminal cancer diagnosis in January, it appears Ioane King had big plans before his August death. Per the news outlet, he and his wife Christelle had purchased a new home together just six weeks before he died. Friends and family, working to cover the cost of the new home, have since organized a fundraiser.
The statement detailing the fundraiser reads, “They put their life savings into building a new home and intended to continue to work on it for the next few years.”
Moving into the details regarding Ioane King’s death, the statement continued, “the pride and happiness surrounding this project were struck down. Six weeks after moving into their home total devastation hit with John’s diagnosis.”
As such, “They have had to reassess their priorities completely.”
The conclusion of the fundraiser’s statement read, “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.”