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17th Oct 2023

Jurassic Park’s Sam Neill tearfully urges fans ‘not to worry’ after chemo stops working

Steve Hopkins

‘So please stop worrying. I’m getting a lot of messages on social media and from friends’

Sam Neill has released a new video vowing to “fight for years to come” and urging fans not to “worry” after a story aired suggesting his cancer treatment had failed.

The Jurassic Park actor, who revealed he had stage-three blood cancer in his memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This? in March, told Australian Story that his chemotherapy had stopped working.

The 76-year-old has angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma – a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma – and began receiving chemotherapy to try and tackle the disease, but it failed after just three months.

Doctors have since prescribed him a rare anti-cancer drug and the actor requires infusions every two weeks. The drug has proved effective and he’s been in remission for 12 months, but Neill told the programme that it will stop working at some point and he’s The drug will stop working at some point and he’s “prepared” for death.

Neill sought to reassure his family, friends and fans in a follow-up video, suggesting the “passing remark” had been taken somewhat out of context.

He said: “They showed Australia a story last night and I made a passing remark that the treatment that I am on, that has me in remission, will inevitably fail on day. That’s what happens… it’s nothing to worry about.”

He continued: “I’m in remission. I plan to be in remission for many years to come. I’ll bore you all to death with much more work. And at such time it does fail, we will try something else.”

Neill reassured fans by saying “there’s all sorts of things that are happening with cancer these days, it’s a whole new ball game” and urged them not to worry.

“So please stop worrying. I’m getting a lot of messages on social media and from friends,” he said, becoming tearful.

“Sorry to worry everyone. It’s all good. It’s all fine. It’s a wonderful day, I’m off to work and look how gorgeous these geraniums are in the background.”

In the Australian Story report, Neill said he was “not remotely afraid” of dying and told how the days after his current treatments are “very grim and depressing”. He said they leave him feeling like he’s gone 10 rounds with a boxer.

Neill said while the treatments keep him alive, he’s determined not to give the disease too much thought, saying: “I know I’ve got it, but I’m not really interested in it.”

He added: “It’s out of my control. If you can’t control it, don’t get into it.”

Neill says he has 10 days between the effects of his treatment passing and his next appointment to enjoy life, and he does: “In which I could not feel more alive or pleased to be breathing and looking at a blue sky.”

The drug will stop working at some point, doctors have told the actor, but he’s “prepared.”

Although death would be “annoying”, because he’s got more to do in life, after thinking deeply about mortality following his diagnosis he’s now “not remotely afraid” to die.

Retirement, however, “fills (him) with horror.”

While receiving chemo Neill had to stop acting, at which point he wrote his memoir thinking “I better write some of this down because I’m not sure how long I have to live”.

Neill began filming for the adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s novel, Apples Never Fall, before production was shut down as a result of the actors’ and writers’ strike in the US and is also filming season two of the mini-series The Twelve.

Related links:

Jurassic Park’s Sam Neill says he’s not afraid of dying as chemotherapy fails with his stage-three cancer

Jurassic Park star Sam Neill diagnosed with stage three blood cancer

Watch Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill sing duet on location for Jurassic World 3