Renowned actor Sam Neill reveals what saved his life during cancer battle

Jul 09, 2024
Beloved actor Sam Neill shared his optimistic outlook on his health battle, emphasising his resilience and positive approach. Source: Getty Images.

While some may not be brimming with optimism to head into work every day, beloved actor Sam Neill finds nothing more fulfilling. He even credits his work with saving his life as he navigates his battle with cancer.

Best known for his roles in Jurassic Park and the popular Aussie drama series The Twelve, Neill shocked fans last year when he revealed that he had been diagnosed with stage 3 blood cancer in his memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This?

Now, Neill has revealed to TODAY that his numerous projects have been crucial in helping him survive his battle with blood cancer, sharing that he is “feeling absolutely great”.

Currently in remission, Neill shared his optimistic outlook on his health battle, emphasising his resilience and positive approach.

“The thing about cancers, there’s so many different of them, you know and great advances are being made, so there’s always hope and I’m living with it rather than dying from it, that’s the way I look at it,” he said.

“I like working and when I was diagnosed, I didn’t have any work to do, so I wrote a book and that saved my life because I was pretty down and I got up in the morning and I would write and write and write and that was good fun.”

Neill shows no signs of slowing down, with The Dish star previously revealing that despite his cancer diagnosis retirement is a notion he steadfastly refuses to entertain. 

“I’m not in any way frightened of dying. That doesn’t worry me. It’s never worried me from the beginning, but I would be annoyed,” he previously told Australian Story.

“I’d be annoyed because there are things I still want to do. Very irritating, dying. But I’m not afraid of it.

“I’d really like another decade or two, you know?

“We’ve built all these lovely terraces, we’ve got these olive trees and cypresses, and I want to be around to see it all mature. And I’ve got my lovely little grandchildren. I want to see them get big.

“But as for the dying? I couldn’t care less.”

While the thought of death doesn’t disturb Neill, the idea of retirement sends shivers down his spine.

For the seasoned actor, the prospect of stepping away from his beloved career fills him “with horror” and remains “completely out of the question”.

Neill’s impressive career spans more than 50 years with leading roles in films such as My Brilliant Career (1979), Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981), A Cry in the Dark (1988), Dead Calm (1989), The Hunt For Red October (1990), The Piano (1993), and In the Mouth of Madness (1994). Neill gained global acclaim for his portrayal of Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park (1993), a character he reprised in Jurassic Park III (2001) and Jurassic World Dominion (2022).

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