Sam Neill gives update on cancer battle, says he’s “not remotely afraid” to die

Fans have been praying for Jurassic Park star Sam Neill since he revealed his stage 3 blood cancer diagnosis in March.

Now, in a new update, Neill revealed that the treatments will eventually stop working — but he is “not remotely afraid” to die when the time comes.

The 76-year-old New Zealand actor has been battling angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, a rare form of non-Hodgkin blood cancer. He was diagnosed in March 2022, after noticing swollen glands while promoting the film Jurassic World Dominion. Neill first revealed his diagnosis to the public in March.

Luis Javier Villalba /

Neill underwent chemotherapy, but when treatments failed he went on a new, experimental chemotherapy drug. He will require new infusions every two weeks for the rest of his life, but thanks to the drug his cancer went into remission.

In a recent interview with Australian Story, Neill said the drugs take a toll on him, saying the days after treatment are “very grim and depressing,” but the drugs are “keeping [him] alive.”

But while the drugs are buying him time, doctors informed him that the treatments will eventually stop working. However, Neill says he’s ready to go when that time comes.

“I’m prepared for that,” he told the outlet, saying that he is “not remotely afraid” of death.

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While he’s not afraid of dying, Neill says that retiring from acting “fills me with horror.” Which is why he has continued to work even while battling cancer: he most recently worked on an adaptation of the novel Apples Never Fall before the actors’ strike shut down production.

Neill made similar comments last March, after first revealing his diagnosis.

“I’m not afraid to die, but it would annoy me,” Neill said in an interview. “Because 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 taking a break from acting for cancer treatments, Neill took the time to write his memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This?, although he stressed that it is not a “bloody cancer book.”

Luis Javier Villalba /

He recently said that he does not want to waste time dwelling on his cancer, which he says is out of his control anyway: “I know I’ve got it, but I’m not really interested in it,” Neill told Australian Story. “It’s out of my control. If you can’t control it, don’t get into it.”

Neill is perhaps best known to audiences as Dr. Alan Grant in the landmark blockbuster Jurassic Park, a role he reprised in two sequels, but he has had a long and versatile career that dates back to his breakout role in 1977’s Sleeping Dogs.

Other notable films of his include A Cry in the DarkThe PianoThe Hunt for Red OctoberPossession and Dead Calm.

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Sam Neill is one of the best actors around, and we wish him nothing but the best as he continues his cancer battle. We’re glad to hear he is keeping such a positive attitude and not letting anything hold him back.

Please share this story if you love Sam Neill.

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