99 | Sam Neill - Greatest Kiwi of All Time 2023

99 | Sam Neill - Greatest Kiwi of All Time 2023

Greatest Kiwi Of All Time: No. 99- Sam Neill (Down 9 from 90- last year)

1993.  One movie is tearing up the box office.  Jurassic Park.  And starring in the Steven Speilberg directed Hollywood blockbuster, our very own Sam Neill.

Sam Neill came to Christchurch from Ireland in 1954.  He was called Nigel back then but would call himself Sam at school, he thought Nigel was a little too unmanly for the primary school playground.  No offence to any Nigel’s out there.

He would attend Canterbury and Victoria universities, studying for a BA, where he first came into acting.  Neill would appear in a number of New Zealand television movies before breaking through in the film Sleeping Dogs in 1977.  It was set in a dystopian New Zealand police state and would be the first 35mm feature film produced in Aotearoa.

In the late 70s, Sam headed to Australia to further his acting career, appearing in films and TV shows before landing his first big international movie - Omen 3.

He was even in the running to be the next James Bond.  Timothy Dalton scored the job, pity - we think you would’ve been much better Sam.

Sam Neill started to be in demand and he became a hot property in Hollywood circles.  Big movies would follow, such as Dead Calm, The Hunt for the Red October and then - his most memorable international gig - Jurassic Park.

He would still appear in kiwi movies too, such as Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople in 2016.

A self-confessed rehabilitated stammerer, Neill lives in Alexandra and owns Two Paddocks vineyard.  He has been nominated for three Golden Globes and two Primetime Emmy Awards.  He names his farm animals after his movie star mates.

From Peter Rabbit to Gallipoli - his filmography is beyond impressive.  It’s unmatchable.  Sam Neill.  Legendary New Zealand actor, one of Today FM’s Greatest Kiwis of All Time.