Written by Ashton Snyder on
 July 5, 2024

Sam Neill Shares Update On 'Grim' Cancer Battle Amid Remission

Sam Neill, acclaimed for his role in Jurassic Park, has shared significant developments in his fight against stage-three blood cancer.

As Daily Mail reported, the 76-year-old actor, undergoing rigorous treatment while filming The Twelve, announced that he is in remission and remains dedicated to his work and managing ongoing treatment.

Neill’s journey through cancer began with a diagnosis during his first visit back to New Zealand in 2022, following the pandemic lockdowns. He was immersed in filming the series The Twelve during this difficult time. The actor underwent a grueling few months of what he described as "reasonably conventional chemotherapies."

Neill’s Harrowing Battle and Experimental Treatment

Despite the initial chemotherapy sessions, Neill’s cancer returned with greater severity. This prompted a shift to an experimental drug intervention. “I was in really a fight for my life,” he candidly remarked, reflecting on the alarm and new realities faced during his treatment.

The experimental drug began to show positive effects, leading to a state of remission for nearly two years now. However, Neill remains realistic and prepared for the possibility that the drug’s efficacy may eventually wane.

To maintain his remission, Neill undergoes bi-weekly infusions, which he described as “very grim and depressing.” He noted that these sessions inevitably meant sacrificing weekends to endure the side effects, yet he expressed gratitude for life and his ability to continue working.

An Emotional Journey With Family Support

Neill’s son, Tim, recounted a poignant moment following the diagnosis. “When he hung the phone up and we sat down, and we had a little bit of a cry together,” he shared, capturing the emotional weight of the experience.

Tim also recalled the shock and heartbreak of seeing his father’s weakened physical state, noting the somber realization during what was meant to be a celebratory time. “I was shocked, and I broke down and I could barely hug him,” Tim remembered.

Throughout this taxing period, family support has played a crucial role in Neill's journey. Despite trying to maintain humor and downplay his condition, the actor has faced significant emotional and physical challenges.

Gratitude Amidst Ongoing Challenges

Neill remains committed to his craft, emphasizing his gratitude for the simple joys of life. “But other than that, it's great to be alive and working and in beautiful places, like York,” he shared, highlighting the solace he finds in his work and surroundings.

While he acknowledges the daunting nature of his disease and treatment, Neill keeps a pragmatic perspective. “I know I've got it, but I'm not really interested in it. It's out of my control. If you can't control it, don't get into it,” he stated, illustrating his determination to focus on what he can manage.

The journey has indeed been grueling, with Neill enduring the physical and emotional toll of both conventional and experimental treatments. Despite these hardships, his outlook remains steadfast and hopeful.


Sam Neill was diagnosed with stage-three blood cancer in 2022, leading to a tough battle that included harsh chemotherapy and experimental treatments, but he has been in remission for nearly two years. Despite the challenges of bi-weekly infusion sessions, Neill emphasizes the importance of remaining active and appreciating the present. His journey, supported by his family and fueled by his passions, showcases his resilience amidst significant health challenges.

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