Meet Elena Neill and Tim Neill

Born in Omagh, Northern Ireland, Neill moved to Christchurch, New Zealand, with his family in 1954, where he attended Christ’s College, an Anglican boys’ boarding school. Later, he studied English literature at the University of Canterbury, where he had his first exposure to acting. Neill then moved to Wellington to continue his tertiary education at Victoria University, where he graduated with a BA in English literature.

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Neill’s breakthrough performance in New Zealand was the film Sleeping Dogs (1977), which was the first local film to be widely screened abroad. This recognition set him up for leading roles in international films such as Omen III: The Final Conflict and Possession, both released in 1981.

However, Neill’s claim to fame was his role as Dr Alan Grant in the blockbuster film Jurassic Park (1993). The film was a massive hit, and Neill’s performance was widely appreciated, earning him international fame. He reprised the role in the third and the latest instalment of the franchise, Jurassic Park III (2001) and Jurassic World Dominion (2022), respectively.

Apart from movies, Neill has also appeared in numerous television series, including Reilly, Ace of Spies (1983), Merlin (1998), Peaky Blinders (2013–2014), and Rick and Morty (2019), to name a few. He has presented and narrated several documentaries, showcasing his versatility as an artist.

In addition to his acting career, Neill has an interesting family history. His father, an army officer, was a second-generation New Zealander, while his mother was English. His great-grandfather Percival “Percy” Neill left Belfast, Ireland, for Melbourne, joining a firm of merchants. Four years later, he moved to New Zealand in 1863, settling in Dunedin. He was the son of a wine merchant who imported wine from France.

Sam Neil revealed in March 2023 that he was undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with Stage 3 Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, a type of blood cancer.

Sam Neill children: Meet Elena Neill and Tim Neill

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