Sam Neill Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (29)  | Personal Quotes (25)

Overview (3)

Born in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, UK
Birth NameNigel Neill
Height 5' 11¾" (1.82 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Sam Neill was born in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, to army parents, an English-born mother, Priscilla Beatrice (Ingham), and a New Zealand-born father, Dermot Neill. His family moved to the South Island of New Zealand in 1954. He went to boarding schools and then attended the universities at Canterbury and Victoria. He has a BA in English Literature. Following his graduation, he worked with the New Zealand Players and other theater groups. He also was a film director, editor and scriptwriter for the New Zealand National Film Unit for 6 years.

Sam Neill is internationally recognised for his contribution to film and television. He is well known for his roles in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park (1993) and Jane Campion's Academy Award Winning film The Piano (1993). Other film roles include The Daughter (2015), Backtrack (2015) opposite Adrien Brody, MindGamers (2015), United Passions (2014), A Long Way Down (2014), Escape Plan (2013), The Hunter (2011) with Willem Dafoe, Daybreakers (2009), Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010), Little Fish (2005) opposite Cate Blanchett, Skin (2008), My Talks with Dean Spanley (2008), Wimbledon (2004), Yes (2004), Perfect Strangers (2003), Dirty Deeds (2002), The Zookeeper (2001), Bicentennial Man (1999) opposite Robin Williams, The Horse Whisperer (1998) alongside Kristin Scott Thomas, Sleeping Dogs (1977), and My Brilliant Career (1979).

He received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for the NBC miniseries Merlin (1998). He also received a Golden Globe nomination for One Against the Wind (1991), and for Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983). The British Academy of Film and Television honoured Sam's work in Reilly by naming him Best Actor. Sam received an AFI Award for Best Actor for his role in Jessica (2004).

Other television includes House of Hancock (2015), Rake (2010), Doctor Zhivago (2002), To the Ends of the Earth (2005), The Tudors (2007) with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Crusoe (2008), Alcatraz (2012) and recently in Old School (2014) opposite Bryan Brown, Peaky Blinders (2013) alongside Cillian Murphy and The Dovekeepers (2015) for CBS Studios.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Shanahan Management

Spouse (2)

Noriko Watanabe (2 September 1989 - present) ( 1 child)
Lisa Harrow (1978 - 1989) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trivia (29)

One son, Tim Neill (b.1983), with Lisa Harrow, a daughter Elena Neill with Noriko Watanabe, and a step-daughter Maiko.
Met wife Noriko Watanabe on the set of Dead Calm (1989), where she worked as a make-up artist.
He has homes in Beverly Hills, Sydney and New Zealand.
He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1991 for his work as an actor.
"Best Actor on British Television" for Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983), Australian Film Institute Award "Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role" for A Cry in the Dark (1988) (aka "Cry in the Dark (1988)").
His vineyard is in the Gibbston Valley, Otago, New Zealand. His wine is a Pinot Noir called Two Paddocks. In S2/E3 of Killing Eve (2018), agent Carolyn Martens (Fiona Shaw) mentions this fact during a conversation with Konstantin (Kim Bodnia).
One of the original candidates for the fourth and fifth actor to portray James Bond - 007 in The Living Daylights (1987) and GoldenEye (1995). Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan ended up as James Bond, respectively.
Montana is a recurring element in his films: in The Hunt for Red October (1990) he wants to live in Montana; in The Horse Whisperer (1998) he goes to Montana to find with his wife; in Jurassic Park (1993) he is digging up fossils in Montana.
He is one of the three founders of Huntaway Films, along with his good friends John Clarke and Jay Cassells.
Was considered for the role of the villainous "Doc Ock" in Spider-Man 2 (2004). His wife ended up as the principal make-up & hair stylist for Kirsten Dunst in the movie.
He is a big fan of The Beach Boys.
Moved to New Zealand at age 7.
Good friends with musicians Neil Finn, Tim Finn and Jimmy Barnes.
Born to Priscilla Beatrice (Ingham), who was English, and Dermot Neill, a New Zealand army officer. His ancestry includes English, Anglo-Irish (Northern Irish), and Irish.
Studied at the University of Canterbury and at the Victoria University in Wellington, from which he graduated with a BA in English Literature.
Owns a winery, Two Paddocks, in the Central Otago region of New Zealand. It was started in 1993.
Suffered with a stammer when he was younger.
Has fluent Irish accent.
He was considered for Alan Rickman's roles in Die Hard (1988) and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991).
He was considered for Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
He has been appointed a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DCNZM). When knighthoods were returned to the New Zealand Honours System in 2009, those with DCNZM or higher honours were given the option of converting them into knighthoods. Neill chose not to do this, saying the title of Sir was "just far too grand, by far".
He was considered for Aramis in The Man in the Iron Mask (1998).
He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Canterbury in 2002.
He is a supporter of the Australian Speak Easy Association and the British Stammering Association (BSA).
He auditioned for Mr. Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), but Tim Burton wanted Johnny Depp to be the only "name" actor in the movie.
He was considered for the Eighth Doctor in Doctor Who (1996).
He supports the New Zealand Labour Party and the Australian Labor Party.
Was working in New Zealand theater and film when he was discovered by James Mason. Mason phoned him and offered him a plane ticket to Europe, where he helped Sam meet casting agents. The two ended up appearing in only one film together: Ivanhoe (1982).
Born on the same date as Jon "Bowzer" Bauman.

Personal Quotes (25)

"Of all the characters I've played, I think I have more in common with that guy than with Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983) referring to Carl Fitzgerald in Death in Brunswick (1990). Who Weekly (NZ) 8/23/93.
Referring to The Simpsons (1989): "I'm playing a cat burglar. I've made it. This is the high point of my career. I'm really chuffed". EW, 7/23/93.
"Perhaps we should look at somewhere else where they recently used the time-old bribe of tax cuts, and see how it worked. In 2000, George W. Bush, under the reasonable sounding 'compassionate conservatism', offered huge tax cuts. And he delivered. Take a look at America now. The rich are certainly richer, but the economy is in the tank, a healthy surplus has been converted into a massive deficit, and the U.S. is a place that cannot even afford the basics. Like maintaining levees in low-lying Louisiana. Might I suggest that tax cuts led indirectly to the flooding of New Orleans?".
If all I did was acting, I'd go out of my mind.
The pathetic thing about actors is they don't feel valid unless they're acting.
(2012, on My Brilliant Career (1979)) A most important role for me, I must say, because that's the film that took me out of New Zealand, the film that allowed me to live and work in Australia, which I love. Yeah, that was probably more transformative than anything else I've done, in a way. Without that film, I never would've-prior to that, I'd done Sleeping Dogs (1977), and I thought, "That was a one-off, I'll never do another film." And if you look at Sleeping Dogs, you think, "Well, I wouldn't use that bugger again." But I did get cast in Brilliant Career, I kind of understood a little bit more about what was necessary, and it was a great opportunity for me. That film changed me into an actor rather than just a part-time thespian.
(2012, on Dead Calm (1989)) Well, that was fantastically good fun, actually, although quite a lot of the time we were seasick and cold and wet and stuff like that. It was a very interesting film to do, as there were only three characters, you know, but it works very well, and it built quite a few careers. For [director] Phillip Noyce, it launched him into big action films, and there's this Australian actress called Nicole Kidman in it who you might've heard of...
(2012, on filming Sleeping Dogs (1977) and working with Warren Oates) You see, that was my first feature film of all, with my friend Roger Donaldson, and there I really had no idea what I was doing. In fact, none of us did. Apart from Michael Seresin, who shot it, no one on that production had ever made a feature film before. In fact, there hadn't been a feature film made in New Zealand for something like 17 years. So we were really... We lit a little candle, which didn't illuminate much of the darkness in front of us, but we got through it. It's a very uneven film, and I'm pretty uneven in it. Oh, actually, the other person on the film who had any experience was, of course, the wonderful Warren Oates. He came in for about two weeks, I think, and... He discovered on day one, I think, that in the area of New Zealand where we were working, they grow the best marijuana, and so he was basically smoking joints all day. In some of the scenes where he's playing Col. Willoughby, a U.S. army advisor in New Zealand, he's addressing his men with his hands behind his back, and you might even possibly detect the little curving smoke behind his right shoulder, because he wouldn't even put the joint aside when the camera was rolling. He just put it behind his back! But Warren was a lovely guy, and when he left-I'll never forget this, actually: He shook my hand, and he said, "Goodbye, Sam! I'll see you in the movies!" It was such a surprising thing for him to say, but I was very touched by it. I never saw him again, because he died rather young not very long after that. But he lived hard, you know. And he had some great stories of the madness of working with Sam Peckinpah.
[2014, on socializing with Michael Williams and Warren Clarke during the making of Enigma (1982)] My liver is still recovering.
[on changing his name from Nigel to Sam, aged ten] I saved myself a lifetime of pain.
[Tell us a secret.] I was christened Nigel. It set me back for years.
[Which living person do you most admire, and why?] My brother, Michael. He is an academic and has devoted his life to scholarship; my life seems trivial by comparison. Bastard.
[What did you want to be when you were growing up?] A soldier like my father. I would have been useless.
[Which words or phrases do you most overuse?] I'm sorry to say, the word is fuck.
[What keeps you awake at night?] Worrying about insomnia.
[What do you most dislike about your appearance?] Pretty much all of it. But these weird fat bits on my hips - yuck!
[What song would you like played at your funeral?] I Will Remember You, by Sarah McLachlan. That'll choke the bastards up if nothing else will.
[What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?] Sloth. No, wait, greed. No, gluttony.
[What has been your biggest disappointment?] My complete ineptitude at sport.
[What is the worst job you've done?] Everyone says it's the Fifa film [United Passions], but I had a marvellous time.
[Who would play you in the film of your life?] Tilda Swinton.
[What makes you unhappy?] Solitude. I crave company.
[What is your guiltiest pleasure?] Come Dine With Me. Everything you need to know about the British in one tidy hour.
[What is the worst thing anyone's said to you?] "Did we sleep together? Really? Are you quite sure?"
[on working with Meryl Streep on Plenty (1985) and A Cry in the Dark (1988)] By the time we did the second I was very comfortable with her. She scared the shit out of me in the first one. I was too young and too bedazzled by her. I was daunted. And I think on day one we had a sex scene. I wonder how many actors have done sex scenes with Meryl Streep. Probably just a handful.

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