Sam Neill has revealed that he is being treated for stage three blood cancer.
The Jurassic Park star revealed the news in his upcoming memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This, where he writes in the first chapter that he’s “possibly dying.”
In an interview with The Guardian, the 75-year-old actor said: ‘The thing is, I’m a thief. Possibly dying.
He added: ‘Maybe I have to speed this up. I found myself with nothing to do.
And I’m used to work. I love working. I love going to work. I love being with people every day and enjoying human company and friendship and all that stuff. And suddenly I was deprived of it. And I thought, “What am I going to do?”
Neill also told the BBC that he has had a “fierce type of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma.”
He began writing his memoirs as a distraction and to “give me a reason to get through the day.”
Jurassic Park star Sam Neill, 75, reveals he is being treated for stage three blood cancer in new book: ‘I’m a thief, possibly dying’
The book reviews the New Zealand actor’s 50-year career on screen, as well as his sudden illness.
Neill revealed that he sought medical treatment after noticing bulging glands in his neck while on a publicity tour last year for the movie Jurassic World Dominion.
The piano star remained calm when told of his diagnosis by doctors, and immediately began plotting to write a book about his life.
‘I thought I needed to do something, and I thought, ‘Should I start writing?’ she told the BBC.
‘I didn’t think I had a book in me, I just thought I’d write some stories. And I found it more and more fascinating.
“A year later, not only did I write the book, it didn’t have a ghostwriter, but it came out in record time,” he said proudly.
And about the literary effort, he also said that he “never had the intention of writing a book.”
Sam explained, “But as I kept going and writing, I realized that he was actually giving me a reason to live, and I’d go to bed thinking, ‘I’ll write about it tomorrow… that’ll keep me entertained.'”
“And it really was a lifesaver, because I couldn’t have gone through that with nothing to do, you know.”
Tragedy struck: Neill revealed he sought medical treatment after noticing bulging glands in his neck while on a publicity tour last year; Pictured in 2019
Sam’s specific ailment was diagnosed as angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma.
He is now in remission but will receive chemotherapy for the rest of his life.
According lymphoma.org AITL is ‘a rare, often, but not always, aggressive form of peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL)’.
Statistically, this specific type of blood cancer accounts for only one to two percent of all NHL cases in the United States.
The site also notes that older patients are more likely to be diagnosed.
Symptoms can include high fever, night sweats, rash, and autoimmune disorders.
Reflecting on life, the seasoned actor admitted: ‘I’m not afraid of dying. But it would bother me. Because I’d really like another decade or two, you know?
“We have built all these beautiful terraces, we have these olive trees and cypress trees, and I want to be around to see it mature. And I have my adorable little grandchildren. I want to see them grow.
But as for the dying? I couldn’t care less.
The star was married to Japanese makeup artist Noriko Watanabe from 1989 to 2017 and they share two children: Elena, 32, and Tim, 40.
Flashback: Sam, Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards in the original 1993 Jurassic Park
Sam, who was born in Ireland and later moved to New Zealand, first appeared in 1975’s Landfall.
He then starred in 1979’s My Brilliant Career, which was based on the Miles Franklin novel.
Neill’s breakout international role was in Andrzej Zulawski’s surreal 1981 divorce film Possession.
The actor said the independent that Zulawski was ‘a genius, but crazy’. He asked you for much more than you could give. He asked for much more than a director should ask for.
Sam’s most notable role is Dr. Alan Grant, whom he played in the Jurassic World franchise most recently in last year’s third installment.
Longtime co-star: Sam and co-star Laura Dern in a still from last year’s Jurassic Park: Dominion