Jurassic Park's Sam Neill shares 'dark moments' after stage 3 cancer diagnosis

17 March 2023, 19:51

Sam Neill has been diagnosed with cancer
Sam Neill has been diagnosed with cancer. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Jurassic Park's Sam Neill has told of how his blood cancer diagnosis left him living through "dark moments" as he underwent chemotherapy.

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Neill, who is now cancer-free but will have to take chemotherapy drugs for the rest of his life, said he started writing about his life as a way to keep busy while receiving treatment last year.

The New Zealand actor, 75, said: "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?'"

He told the Guardian: "I never had any intention to write a book. But as I went on and kept writing, I realised 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.'

Sam Neill in 1993's Jurassic Park
Sam Neill in 1993's Jurassic Park. Picture: Getty

"And so it was a lifesaver really, because I couldn't have gone through that with nothing to do, you know."

Neill first experienced swollen glands during publicity for Jurassic World Dominion in March last year and was soon diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, the Guardian reported.

The memoir discusses receiving chemotherapy, which started to fail, before he started taking a new chemotherapy drug which he will take monthly for the rest of his life, despite now being cancer-free.

He told the Guardian: "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.

Sam Neill in 2019
Sam Neill in 2019. Picture: Alamy

"Just pleased to be alive."

Read more: John Wick and The Wire star dies aged 60 days before scheduled TV appearance

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Neill, who reprised his role as Alan Grant in the blockbuster Jurassic Park franchise last year, has also starred as Major Chester Campbell in hit BBC series Peaky Blinders.

Did I Ever Tell You This? will be published on March 21.

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