Sam Neill

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Sam Neill

Born

9/14/1947, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, U.K.

Birth Name

Nigel Neill

Gender

Male

Also Known As

John Dermot, Sam Neil
  • Sam Neill on Alcatraz from \
  • Sam Neill on Alcatraz from \
  • Sam Neill on Alcatraz.
  • Sam Neill in Happy Town.
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
78 votes

Biography

EDIT
Sam Neill was born to New Zealand Army parents, Dermot and Priscilla Neill, while they were stationed in Northern Ireland. He has an older brother and a younger sister. The family returned to New Zealand in 1954, where he attended boarding school at Christchurch's Christ College, and participated…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Sam played the title role in the 1998 TV mini-series Merlin. He reprised the role in Merlin's Apprentice.

    • In 1998 Sam was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Merlin.

    • Sam wrote, directed and edited the movies "Four Shorts on Architecture" and "Telephone Etiquette".

    • Sam's first movie was the New Zealand film "Sleeping Dogs".

    • Sam received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature degree at Victoria College in Wellington, New Zealand.

    • Sam's first name is Nigel, he adopted the nick name 'Sam' while in school in New Zealand because phrases "a real Nigel" and "Nigel No-mates" were used to describe a sad loner.

    • Sam attended the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival to promote his movie "Skin".

    • Sam Neill read "On the Beach" by Nevil Shute for the Audiocassette.

    • In 1999 Sam was nominated for a Blockbuster Entertainment Award Favorite Supporting Actor - Drama/Romance for The Horse Whisperer.

    • Sam is a fan of The Beach Boys.

    • Sam was the director and a producer of the Australian movie "The Brush-Off".

    • Sam did a TV commercial for MCI in 1998.

    • Sam's father, Dermot Neil, was a New Zealand army officer. His mother's name is Priscilla.

    • Sam was considered to be the 4th and 5th actor to play James Bond. The role ended up going Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan, respectively.

    • Sam married Noriko Watanabe on September 2, 1989. They meet on the set of "Dead Calm". The couple has a daughter, Elana. Noriko has a daughter, Maiko, from her first marriage. Sam also had a son, Tim, from a previous relationship with actress Lisa Harrow (they never married).

    • Sam has twice been nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor, in 1993 for "Memoirs of an Invisible Man" in 2006 for "The Triangle".

    • The first vintage in 1997 of Sam's Two Paddocks Pinot Noir from his New Zealand vineyard was so popular domestically that none was left over for export.

    • Sam supports the Australian Labor Party, Greenpeace, OxFam, and the World Wildlife Fund. He is a patron of the National Performance Conference. He also donated a pair of jeans to the Jeans for Genes auction. They were painted by artist Merv Moriarty and auctioned off in August 1998.

    • Architecture is one of Sam passions.
      In his free time he likes to paint with water colours and play the ukelele.

    • Sam Neill has a Vineyard called Two Paddocks. As of 2007 the produce Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.

    • Sam has been nominated 5 times for an Australian Film Institue Award in various categorys.

      1991 for Death In Brunswick (Best Actor in a Lead Role)
      1993 for The Piano (Best Actor in a Supporting Role)
      2000 for My Mother Frank (Best Performance by an an Actor in a Supporting Role)
      2004 for Jessica (Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Television Drama or Comedy)
      2004 for The Brush Off (Best Direction in Television)

    • Sam won an Australian Film Institute Award in 1989 for his role in A Cry In The Dark.

    • Sam has been nominated 3 times for a Golden Globe. All were for the category: Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV.

      In 1983 for Reilly: The Ace Of Spies
      In 1991 for One Against The Wind
      In 1998 for Merlin

    • Sam Neill height is 6' (1.83 m) tall.

    • As of 2006, Sam Neill is appearing in an Australian television commercial funded by the livestock industry. "Red meat - we were meant to eat it."

    • Sam hosted and narrated a series of 2002 documentaries for the BBC entitled Space (Hyperspace in the United States).

    • Sam was asked to play the role of Elrond in The Lord of the Rings by Peter Jackson but turned it down because of other contractual obligations.

    • Sam studied English Literature at the University of Canterbury, where he got his first exposure to acting.

    • Sam was considered for the role of Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2. His wife ended up as the principal make-up & hair stylist for Kirsten Dunst in the movie.

    • Sam Neill is one of the three founders of Huntaway Films, along with John Clarke and Jay Cassells.

  • Quotes

    • Sam Neill: I'd like the vineyard to support me but I'm afraid it is the other way round. It is not a very economic business. It is a ridiculously time and money-consuming business. I would not do it if it was not so satisfying and fun - and it gets me pissed once in awhile.

    • Sam Neill: I enjoy being a winemaker of sorts, even if my choice of wine means cultivating a very tricky and elusive grape. More and more of my friends at home and on film locations are after the Two Paddocks label, so I need this third vineyard. But I really do enjoy the commitment away from my real job, the one that pays all the bills - it's good for your soul to balance your work and life.

    • Sam Neill: (on kissing Hugo Weaving in the movie Little Fish) Kissing blokes is deeply unappealing. A bit like kissing an alsatian's arse. Horribly hairy. It gives me a new respect for women.

    • Sam Neill: (talking about his animals) I have very attractive black-faced sheep. (Interviewer: Do they make chops?) No. They make other sheep. I have one ram called Bryan Brown, after my friend the Australian actor. They have similar interests. I have a goat but he can't bear the sheep. He's a racist. He feels they are unspeakably below him. I need to get a goat whisperer. Maybe from Wales.

    • Sam Neill: (talking about meeting Druids while filming Merlin in Wales) A young couple with no shoes came to my hotel with all sorts of interesting observations about the old religion. They gave me a crystal. I've never believed in crystals. I've always been cynical and jaded but I got them to sew it into my costume. Day one chasing around Snowdonia on horses, the crystal was gone. I was devastated. A hundred people were searching for the crystal in 500 acres of national park. There's no way we're going to find it. 'Please stop,' I said. I put my head into my hands and looked down and in the grass between my feet was the crystal, and now I'm never without it. It's always in my roly-poly bag.

    • Sam Neill: (when complimented on The Piano) It was very hard to do that movie, chopping off your wife's finger in a rainstorm in the mud. Could have a bad effect on you. Holly Hunter was such a firebrand. She fought back like buggery. After three takes I was absolutely exhausted.

    • Sam Neill: The pathetic thing about actors is they don't feel valid unless they're acting.

    • Sam Neill: If all I did was acting, I'd go out of my mind.

SUBMIT REVIEW
  • empty

    10
    Other than doing the Jurassic Park Series I think my fave Sam Neill Film was a tv version of Merlin and he did a wonderful job playing this role of magic and the tale of King Arthur and The Middle Ages.



    I think is he totally brillant
  • empty

    7.0
    Sam Neill is a true actor. You really believe that he got into acting because he loves it for what it is. You'll never see him in any tabloids and you won't hear any gossip about him. In his roles, you sense more realism than many other actor's who are considered more talented than he. Of all of his roles in all of his movies, my favorite has to be "Jurassic Park."moreless
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