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SYFY WIRE Jurassic Park

‘Jurassic Park’ star Sam Neill reassures fans after revealing he's been treated for cancer

The 75-year-old actor is back at work and reportedly cancer-free.

By Benjamin Bullard
Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park (1993).

Sam Neill, an actor whose decades-spanning career encompasses blockbuster turns as Dr. Alan Grant in the Jurassic Park film franchise, is in recovery after undergoing cancer treatment in 2022. The actor shares news of his ordeal in Did I Ever Tell You This?, a new book of memoirs Neill wrote while receiving care last year.

Neill told The Guardian that he first experienced signs of the illness while promoting the release of Jurassic World Dominion early in 2022, and was soon diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma — an uncommon type of blood cancer.

RELATED: Sam Neill looks back at some of his best genre roles, from ‘Omen III’ to ‘Jurassic World Dominion’

After the results of early chemotherapy treatment proved disappointing, the report states, Neill responded to a different form of cancer drug that he’ll have to continue taking each month for the rest of his life. But, the actor added that he currently is cancer-free and is already back at work, preparing for his appearance alongside Annette Bening in a small-screen adaptation of Apples Never Fall, a missing-person family novel from author Liane Moriarty.

Neill said that writing down anecdotes from his past was a way to keep busy during the down time required by his cancer treatment last year, and that he hasn’t written “another bloody cancer book.”

“I never had any intention to write a book,” he told The Guardian. “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.”

From the 1970s onward, Neill has been a welcome familiar face in movies and on TV, appearing in 1980s horror thrillers Omen III: The Final Conflict, Possession, and Dead Calm before his acclaimed turn in the Oscar-winning 1993 drama The Piano. That same year marked the start of his career’s highest-profile movie role; that of Jurassic Park’s (streaming at Peacock) lovable, curmudgeonly paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant. Neill has since reprised the role in both Jurassic trilogies — once in Jurassic Park III (2001, also streaming at Peacock) and again recently in Jurassic World Dominion (2022).

Neill wasn’t sure of his long-term prognosis last year, writing early in Did I Ever Tell You This? that he might “have to speed this up” because he was “[p]ossibly dying.” Thankfully, though, the 75 year-old New Zealander is fully recovered and back in action: In addition to Apples Never Fall, Neill also is set to appear in a trio of upcoming Australian films including fantasy adaptation The Portable Door, sci-fi drama Scarygirl, and crime thriller Bring Him to Me.