Sam Neill declares retirement is ‘out of the question’ despite devastating health update

Oct 17, 2023
While the thought of death doesn't disturb Neill, the idea of retirement sends shivers down his spine. Source: Getty Images.

In a stunning display of resilience, renowned actor Sam Neill has declared that retirement is simply not an option, even in the face of a devastating health update.

The beloved star, known for his iconic roles in films such as Jurassic Park and The Hunt for Red October, recently shared that the experimental treatment he’s undergoing to fight blood cancer will eventually stop working.

In an emotional interview with Australian Story, Neill revealed that after chemotherapy proved ineffective in his battle against cancer his doctors transitioned him to anti-cancer medication which resulted in him going into remission for over 12 months.

Despite this moment of respite, Neill acknowledged that his medical team had informed him that the effectiveness of the treatment wouldn’t last forever, a reality the 76 year old is “prepared for”.

“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 said.

“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.”


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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 previously shocked his legion of loyal fans when he disclosed details of his health battle in his memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This?

After concerns for the star’s well-being began to grow, the Jurassic Park star took to social media to assure fans he is doing fine.

“Hi I’m Sam Neill, actor of sorts, vintner, and an author as it happens. And my news seems to be all over the news at the moment, and it’s sort of ‘Cancer ! Cancer! Cancer !’ Which is slightly tiresome because as you see, I am alive and well and I have been in remission for eight months, which feels really good,” he began.

“And I’m alive and kicking and I’m going to work. I’m very happy to be going back to work. We start filming in seven days time. I’m doing a thing called ‘Apples Never Fall’ with Annette Bening , and a really wonderful cast.”


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Neill then implored fans to focus less on his latest health news and instead get excited about his new book.

“So I hope you enjoy it, and let’s not worry too much about ‘all that’ because I’m fine . Okay !” he added.

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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