EntertainmentSam Neill battles cancer but stays active in Hollywood projects

Sam Neill battles cancer but stays active in Hollywood projects

Sam Neill revealed his real name
Sam Neill revealed his real name
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7:27 AM EDT, May 20, 2024

Sam Neill became known as the movie character Dr. Alan Grant in the hit "Jurassic Park." The actor admitted in an interview that he abandoned his original name in favor of the pseudonym "Sam." "That was the best decision I ever made," the star revealed.

Sam Neill was born on September 14, 1947. He made his acting debut on theater stages. Later, he worked on documentaries as a director. He first appeared on screen 1977 when he starred in the drama "Sleeping Dogs." His career gained momentum with his role as Harry Beecham in "My Brilliant Career" in 1979.

The real breakthrough in the actor's career came with his performance in Steven Spielberg's blockbuster "Jurassic Park," where he portrayed the paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant. Neill also gained fame for his role as Commissioner Chester Campbell, one of the main adversaries of Thomas Shelby in the series "Peaky Blinders."

Neill is battling a rare cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In many interviews, he has admitted that he is not afraid of death. It seems that the actor fears idleness more than passing away. Despite his health condition, he engages in new projects. Currently, he is starring in the TV thriller "Apples Never Fall," alongside Annette Bening.

Sam Neill on his real name: "that's like my parents giving me a disadvantage from the start"

Sam Neill recently appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show. The 76-year-old actor spoke to the host and the audience about his real name, Nigel. Sam is a pseudonym that the star adopted at the age of 10.

He explained that the name Nigel "put him in a disadvantageous position from the beginning," as it exposed him to bullying during his childhood. The bullies called him "Nigel No Friends." Interestingly, the actor's best buddy also had the name Nigel. He wasn't thrilled about what his parents had named him. The friends decided to abandon Nigel in favor of popularized Western names.  

We liked Westerns, and we thought, 'Let's not just call ourselves Nigel, let's have nickname.' So I was called Sam and he was called Bill, and that was the best decision I ever made - confessed Sam Neill.

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