Sam Neill Offers Inspiring, Heartbreaking Update on Cancer Battle


Jurassic Park star Sam Neill has offered an update on his battle with cancer.

Neill revealed in May 2022 that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin blood cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. The actor appeared on the news magazine program Australian Story last weekend to report that chemotherapy stopped working for him after only three months. He quickly moved on to an experimental drug, which worked wonders.

He’s now been in remission for 12 months, but Neill says that won’t last forever. Physicians have informed him that at some point the drug will stop working, and the cancer will return. “I’m prepared for that,” Neill said matter-of-factly.

Though the 10 days after treatment are hellish for Neill, he said that in the 10 days following that he’s “so pleased to be awake… Ten days in which I could not feel more alive or pleased to be breathing and looking at a blue sky.”

While grateful for the present, Neill isn’t concerned with the inevitable. “I’m not remotely afraid of dying,” he said. “It’s never worried me from the beginning. But I would be annoyed. I’d be annoyed because there are still things I want to do.”

It’s the idea of retiring which “fills me with horror,” Neill deadpans, as he still finds it to be a constant source of joy and energy. Once the actor’s strike ends, he’ll return to filming the adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s novel Apples Never Fall opposite Annette Bening.

He’s also taken up writing, which he showed off in his memoir Did I Ever Tell You This? Neill said the book, which hit shelves last March, was inspired by his wanting to leave “a sense of me” for his four kids and eight grandchildren.

“I thought it would be great for them to have some of my stories,” Neill said. “I mightn’t be here in a month or two. We’ll leave something for them.”

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