Sam Neill says he’s “not afraid of dying” amid cancer update

Sam Neill has given a cancer update following his diagnosis of stage three blood cancer – something he first spoke about earlier this year. 

The Jurassic Park actor told the BBC that he was diagnosed with “a ferocious type of aggressive” non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The New Zealander said that he first noticed he had lumpy glands in his neck during a publicity tour for Jurassic World Dominion last year.

Following chemotherapy treatment, the actor said he’d been in a year-long remission from the rare blood cancer angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma. While his first chemotherapy didn’t work, he started on a new chemotherapy drug and was then told he was cancer-free. The actor will stay on the monthly drug for the rest of his life.


Now, speaking to the Australia Story, Neill has said it is likely his treatment will eventually stop working (via Deadline). 

“I’m prepared for that,” Neill told the outlet, adding that he is not “remotely afraid” but finds the situation “annoying”.

Neill also said that despite the challenges his illness brings  which include treatments that feel like going “10 rounds with a boxer,” he is not ready for retirement – something he described as “completely out of the question.”

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In his memoir released earlier this year, Have I Ever Told You This, Neill recalled the time he, his fellow cast members and the crew of Jurassic Park almost died on set.

The actor starred in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, alongside Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern.


“We almost died in the first few weeks where we were filming on Kauai in the Hawaiian archipelago,” he wrote (via People Magazine).

He continued: “One morning we were told to stay back at the hotel and expect a hurricane later in the day. I was down on the beach with Laura Dern, who asked me: ‘Sam, do you think we might die today?’

“As these massive black clouds approached over the Pacific I found I had to tell her that in all honesty the answer was, ‘Yes, I thought we might.”

On September 5, 1992, Hurricane Iniki struck Hawaii during the Jurassic Park shoot. One of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the island in recorded history, it killed six people and destroyed or damaged more than 14,000 homes.

Neill added in his memoir: “It turned out we came very close.”