"Jurassic Park" Star Sam Neill Reveals Rare Blood Cancer Diagnosis

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Day 9 - Sitges Film Festival 2019
SITGES, SPAIN - OCTOBER 11: Sam Neill attends a photocall for his Time Machine Award at the Sitges Film Festival 2019 on October 11, 2019 in Sitges, Spain. (Photo by Robert Marquardt/Getty Images)

The acclaimed actor first noticed symptoms while doing a press run for "Jurassic World Dominion."

Prayers and well wishes have begun pouring in for film veteran Sam Neill. He doesn't often sit down for extensive interviews about his life and career, but he did so with The Guardian to promote his new book, Did I Ever Tell You About This? Neill is known for his iconic role of Dr. Alan Grant in the Jurassic Park franchise, but he's a international sensation, applauded for his talents across the globe. Neill sent shockwaves through the industry in his book after revealing his stage 3 blood cancer diagnosis.

In the first chapter, he writes: “The thing is, I’m crook. Possibly dying. I may have to speed this up.” While undergoing chemotherapy last year, the award-winning actor used writing to pass the time. He tells The Guardian, “I found myself with nothing to do. And I’m used to working. I love working, I love going to work. I love being with people every day and enjoying human company and friendship, and all these things. And suddenly, I was deprived of that. And I thought, ‘What am I going to do?’"

Sam Neill Gives Health Update

Sam Neill shows a bone to Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards in a scene from the film 'Jurassic Park', 1993. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)

Neill also clarified that he wasn't interested in his book becoming a memoir dedicated to his cancer journey. However, he speaks on the diagnosis throughout because it was such a pivotal time in his life as he revisited his path to the here and now. Thankfully, the actor shared he is cancer-free of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma. Still, he will have to take a chemotherapy drug for the rest of his life.

Her further revealed that he first noticed a change in 2022 while doing a press run for Jurassic World Dominion. There were several symptoms, including swollen glands, that led him to make an appointment with his physician. “More than anything, I want my beard back," he wrote in his book. "I don't like the look of my face one bit." Neill added that when he looks in the mirror, he sees "a bald, wizened old man there."

Grateful For Life

SITGES, SPAIN - OCTOBER 11: Actor Sam Neill attends a press conference during day 9 of the 52nd edition of the Sitges Fantastic Film Festival on October 11, 2019 in Sitges, Spain. (Photo by Borja B. Hojas/Getty Images)

“I can’t pretend that the last year hasn’t had its dark moments,” the Peaky Blinders star added. “But those dark moments throw the light into sharp relief, you know, and have made me grateful for every day and immensely grateful for all my friends. Just pleased to be alive.”


About The Author
Erika Marie is a seasoned journalist, editor, and ghostwriter who works predominantly in the fields of music, spirituality, mental health advocacy, and social activism. The Los Angeles editor, storyteller, and activist has been involved in the behind-the-scenes workings of the entertainment industry for nearly two decades. E.M. attempts to write stories that are compelling while remaining informative and respectful. She's an advocate of lyrical witticism & the power of the pen. Favorites: Motown, New Jack Swing, '90s R&B, Hip Hop, Indie Rock, & Punk; Funk, Soul, Harlem Renaissance Jazz greats, and artists who innovate, not simply replicate.