Sam Neill's message to fans after revealing health battle in new book

Sun, Mar 19
The Jurassic Park star was diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma after experiencing swollen glands during a publicity tour in March last year.

Actor Sam Neill has spoken out about being in cancer remission and his new book in a moving message to fans.

In a post to his social media, Neill told his followers he's "alive and well".

He said: "I have been in remission for eight months , which feels really good."

It was revealed on Saturday morning the Jurassic Park star is being treated for "aggressive" stage-three blood cancer when an extract of is new book was published.

The 75-year-old's memoir about his life, titled Did I Ever Tell You This?, sees him open up about finding fame throughout his celebrated career in film and television as well as his life on his New Zealand farm.

He writes in chapter one: "The thing is, I’m crook. Possibly dying. I may have to speed this up."

Neill was diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma after experiencing swollen glands during a publicity tour in March last year. Neill initially underwent chemotherapy but found his body didn't respond.

Referring to his cancer diagnosis making headlines across the world, he said his illness was a part of the book's narrative because writing was a part of how he dealt with his treatment.

"It does mention cancer because that’s the sort of context in which I wrote it," he explained.

"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. I was very nervous, obviously as a first time author. I think it’s fun. We sub-titled it ‘Movies, Life, Love and Other Catastrophes'. So it gives you an idea of all the crazy things that have happened to me."

He revealed he starts filming a new project called Apples Never Fall with a "wonderful cast", including Annette Bening, next week.

Neill said: "I’m very happy to be going back to work."

In his update, he said the tone of the book "is one of surprise".

"I never thought that I would have a career as an actor, let alone an actor on screen. But that’s kind of what happened and I am full of gratitude looking back on this life, and that’s what the book is about.

"I hope you enjoy it."

Referring to his diagnosis, he ended the update telling his supporters: "Let's not worry too much about ‘all that’ because I’m fine."

Although he is now cancer-free, Neill is on a new chemotherapy drug which he will continue to receive monthly for the rest of his life.

Last year, Neill was made a Knight Companion of the Order of New Zealand by Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro in a redesignation ceremony at Government House this morning.

In a Facebook post, Dame Cindy called the 75-year-old icon a "legend of the silver screen"

"He has been part of some of Aotearoa’s most beloved films and television series since the early '70s, later rising to international acclaim leading Hollywood blockbusters. Congratulations Sir Sam!"


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