Sam Neill shares update on his cancer battle

It's not great news, but he says he's "not remotely afraid" of death.
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Beloved actor Sam Neill has shared an update about his cancer diagnosis and treatment – and it’s probably not what you wanted to hear.

Not only did chemotherapy fail, but the anti-cancer drug that was prescribed and put Sam into remission for over 12 months, will eventually stop working.

But, speaking to Australian Story, Sam said he’s “prepared” for that day.

He went on to say that, while, yes, dying would be “annoying,” he’s “not remotely afraid” of it.

Sam Neill

In early 2023, it was first revealed that the New Zealand actor had been quietly battling stage three blood cancer.

The news came just days before the Jurassic Park actor was set to release his memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This? on March 23.

The Guardian was the one to reveal the actor’s health battle, as they reported that the opening chapter of his book contained the line, “The thing is, I’m crook. Possibly dying. I may have to speed this up.”

This, understandably led to concerns from fans, which led to Sam taking to Instagram with a video message. He reassured his followers that he was “fine” and they shouldn’t “worry too much.”

WATCH: Sam Neill speaks out following cancer diagnosis

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In his video he said, “I’m alive and kicking and I’m going to work and I’m very happy to be going back to work.

“Here I am, and I wish the headline wasn’t that thing because the main thing is that I have written this book, it’s called Did I Ever Tell You This? And it does mention cancer because that’s the sort of context in which I wrote it.

“But I didn’t really mean to write a book, I needed something to do while I was undergoing treatment, and I am used to going to work and I suddenly couldn’t go to work. So that’s why I wrote the book, and I have to say there’s been great response to it. People seem to love it, which is great.”

Sam Neill

The Kiwi is obviously well-loved by his acting peers, as many well-known names took to the comments of Sam’s Instagram video to send their love.

Teresa Palmer gave a nod to Sam’s title, as he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1991 Queen’s Birthday Honours, for his services as an actor.

“Class act sir, we love you!” the actress wrote.

More tributes followed from the likes of Rebecca Gibney, Lisa Wilkinson and Magda Szubanski.

Following his Instagram video, Sam went on to tell the BBC that he hopes his cancer diagnosis doesn’t outshine his memoir. “The last thing I want is for people to obsess about the cancer thing because I’m not really interested in cancer. I’m not really interested in anything other than living.”

The Weekly last spoke to Sam in June 2022, and he told us that while he has been approached by publishers over the years hoping to commission his autobiography, he’d always said no.

“My excuse is, look, nothing much happened and if it did, I can’t remember it,” he said just over a year ago.

Sam Neill book

But he did admit that he had began “tootling around, starting to commit things to my computer”.

“Sort of writing stories of my life and things,” he said at the time. “Not that people will be particularly interested. But it’s interesting that once you start to remember things, other memories start triggering. They’re all there in the back of your head. So, it turns out that quite a lot of things happened. And I do remember.”

Purchase Sam Neill’s ‘Did I Ever Tell You This?’ at Booktopia

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