Sam Neill, who played the role of paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant in Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster Jurassic Park franchise, has announced that he is currently undergoing treatment for stage 3 blood cancer.
Despite his health battle, the actor has been actively involved in the franchise, having reprised his role for Jurassic Park III and the latest installment, Jurassic World Dominion. The latter went on to become the third highest-grossing film of 2022, following Avatar: The Way of Water and Top Gun: Maverick.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Sam Neill talked about his latest book, “Did I Ever Tell You This?”, where he opened up about his battle with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Neill shared that he started writing his memoir during his chemotherapy treatment to keep himself occupied. However, he also found that the book provided him with the motivation to continue his fight against cancer.
Read Neil’s statement below –
I found myself with 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?”
I never had any intention to write a book. But as I went on and kept writing, I realized it was actually sort of giving me a reason to live and I would go to bed thinking, “I’ll write about that tomorrow … that will entertain me.” And so, it was a lifesaver really, because I couldn’t have gone through that with nothing to do, you know.
I can’t pretend that the last year hasn’t had its dark moments. 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. ]
Sam Neill, who was born in Northern Ireland and grew up in New Zealand, faced a challenging hurdle in the form of a stutter during his early years in the entertainment industry.
Despite this, he managed to secure roles in New Zealand film and television during the 1970s. He eventually gained fame across the Tasman Sea in Australia, landing several major roles, including the character Ben Dawson in the popular period drama The Sullivans.
Neill’s breakthrough into Hollywood occurred in 1981, when he was cast in the lead role in Omen III: The Final Conflict. Although the movie was not well-received by critics, Neill’s acting was widely praised.
Neill’s acting career continued to rise throughout the 1980s, appearing in the cult classic Possession directed by Andrzej Żuławski, earning a Golden Globe nomination for his role in the mini-series Reilly, Ace of Spies, and leading the psychological thriller Dead Calm, which The New York Times has named one of the 1000 best films ever made.
In the 1990s, Neill continued to flourish with roles in The Hunt for Red October, Jurassic Park, The Piano, and Paul W.S. Anderson’s sci-fi horror Event Horizon.
More recently, Neill delivered an outstanding performance in Taika Waititi’s highly acclaimed New Zealand-based dramedy, Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
He will soon appear in Jeffrey Walker’s upcoming fantasy comedy, The Portable Door, alongside notable actors such as Christoph Waltz, Miranda Otto, and Patrick Gibson.
About Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park, later also referred to as Jurassic World, is an American science fiction media franchise created by Michael Crichton and centered on a disastrous attempt to create a theme park of cloned dinosaurs.
It began in 1990 when Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment bought the rights to Crichton’s novel Jurassic Park before it was published. The book was successful, as was Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film adaptation.
A 1995 sequel novel, The Lost World, was followed by a film adaptation in 1997. Subsequent films in the series, including Jurassic Park III (2001), are not based on the novels.