Sam Neill Makes Big Reveal in Memoir: 'I'm Not Off the Hook'

'Jurassic Park' actor will need chemo for life in blood cancer battle, though he's now in remission
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2023 7:15 AM CDT
Sam Neill on Cancer Battle: 'I'm Not Afraid to Die'
Sam Neill attends the premiere for "Blackbird" at the Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on Sept. 6, 2019, in Toronto.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Sam Neill's memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This?, will be released Tuesday, but the Guardian got an advance copy, and one line in particular jumped out: "The thing is, I'm crook. Possibly dying. I may have to speed this up." In a sit-down with Neill at his New Zealand farm, the UK daily was able to find out more about what he meant by that: The 75-year-old Jurassic Park actor has recently been battling stage 3 blood cancer.

Neill says he was in Los Angeles in March 2022 doing press for Jurassic World Dominion, the latest film in the franchise, when he went to the doctor to get his swollen glands checked out. He was diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma and started undergoing chemotherapy, which at first didn't seem to be working. Then, Neill got wind of a fairly new experimental chemo that helped him turn a corner, though he says he'll have to have treatments monthly for the rest of his life. "I'm not off the hook as such, but there's no cancer in my body," he says, noting, "I'm just pleased to be alive."

He adds: "I'm not afraid to die, but it would annoy me. Because I'd really like another decade or two, you know? ... I've got my lovely little grandchildren. I want to see them get big. But as for the dying? I couldn't care less." A spokesperson for Neill confirmed to CNN that the actor is in remission, and that he's doing "very well" and has returned to work, which right now is a project for Peacock called Apples Never Fall, co-starring Annette Bening. Read more of Neill's interview with the Guardian here. (More Sam Neill stories.)

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