Jurassic Park's Sam Neill Shares Health Update Amid Blood Cancer Battle

Jurassic Park star Sam Neill reflected on his battle with stage three blood cancer, which he is in remission for, and explained why he is not "remotely afraid" of death.

By Alexandra Bellusci Oct 16, 2023 8:21 PMTags
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Sam Neill is getting candid about his health journey.

Seven months after the Jurassic Park star shared he was diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, a rare form of blood cancer, in 2022, he is now giving insight into his mindset while battling the disease. 

"I know I've got it, but I'm not really interested in it," Sam told the Australian Story in an interview published Oct. 15. "It's out of my control. If you can't control it, don't get into it."

The 76-year-old underwent three months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed, but the treatment stopped working and his tumor grew. Sam then switched to a rare anti-cancer drug, which was successful and sent him into remission, according to the Australian Story.

However, he still requires indefinite bi-weekly infusions despite being in remission for 12 months. Despite the "very grim and depressing" aftereffects of treatment, he conceded, "But it's keeping me alive."

Celeb Cancer Survivors

Meanwhile, the actor is too aware that, ultimately, his current course of treatment will no longer be effective—and his doctors have told him as much.

"I'm prepared for that," he admitted, noting that while dying would be "annoying" because he believes there is still more left for him to do, he is "not remotely afraid" of death.

One thing that does bring panic to the Peaky Blinders alum? Retirement, as he said that "fills me with horror." Luckily, he doesn't have to think about that yet as he'll soon appear in the Peacock limited series Apples Never Fall.

Sam—who shares son Tim with Lisa Harrow and daughter Elena with ex-wife Noriko Watanabe—decided to put pen to paper, which led to his memoir Did I Ever Tell You This?—written to leave his family with "a sense of me."

"I started to think I better write some of this down because I'm not sure how long I have to live," he explained. "I was running against the clock."

Looking back on the months after his diagnosis, Sam recalled, "I had some very lonely times last year. I thought it would be great for them to have some of my stories. I mightn't be here in a month or two. We'll leave something for them."

David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Netflix

But these days, Sam confessed that "the cancer thing" has adjusted his focus to making the most of his time here, adding that he is "so pleased to be awake" every morning.

Back in March, Sam shared his appreciation for being alive—despite going through rough times after his diagnosis. 

"I can't pretend that the last year hasn't had its dark moments," he told The Guardian at the time. "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."

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