Sam Neill Says He’s ‘Alive and Kicking’ and In Remission Following Blood Cancer Battle

2021 AACTA Awards Presented by Foxtel Group - Arrivals - Credit: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images for AFI
2021 AACTA Awards Presented by Foxtel Group - Arrivals - Credit: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images for AFI

Sam Neill turned to social media to ease fans’ concerns about his health following news that the Jurassic Park actor battled stage 3 blood cancer last year.

The actor reveals the cancer diagnosis in his upcoming memoir Did I Ever Tell You This?, as well as a recent interview he gave while promoting the tome. While Neill added his cancer is in remission, many headlines across the internet focused on his previously unreported battle with cancer, forcing him to Instagram this weekend to reiterate that he’s, well, not dying.

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“My news seems to be all over the news at the moment, and it’s sort of ‘Cancer! Cancer! Cancer!,’” Neill said. “Which is slightly tiresome because as you see, I am alive and well and I have been in remission for eight months, which feels really good. And I’m alive and kicking and I’m going to work. I’m very happy to be going back to work.”

Neill added, “I just wish the headline wasn’t ‘that thing’ so much, 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.”

Neill was diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma after suffering from swollen glands while promoting Jurassic World: Dominion in March 2022. As Neill told the Guardian in the interview that launched all the cancer headlines, he was inspired to write his memoir as it provided him with something to do amid treatment.

“I never had any intention to write a book,” Neill said. “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.”

While Neill told the Guardian he was in remission, he expressed a fatalistic viewpoint when he said, “I’m not afraid to die, but it would annoy me. Because I’d really like another decade or two, you know?… But as for the dying? I couldn’t care less.”

Closing out his Instagram message, Neill told his anxious fans, “Let’s not worry too much about ‘all that’ because I’m fine. Okay!”

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