Nigel John Dermot "Sam" Neill, DCNZM, OBE (born 14 September 1947) is a British-born New Zealand actor who first achieved leading roles in films such as Omen III: The Final Conflict and Dead Calm and on television in Reilly, Ace of Spies. He won a broad international audience in 1993 for his roles as Alisdair Stewart in The Piano and Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park, a role he reprised in 2001's Jurassic Park III. Neill also had notable roles in Merlin, The Hunt for Red October, and The Tudors. He holds New Zealand, British and Irish nationality, but identifies primarily as a New Zealander.
Neill was born in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, the second son of Dermot Neill, a Harrow- and Sandhurst-educated British Army officer and third-generation New Zealander, and his English wife, Priscilla (née Ingham). At the time of Neill's birth, his father was stationed in Northern Ireland, serving with the Irish Guards. His father's family owned Neill and Co., the largest liquor retailers in New Zealand.
In 1954, Neill returned with his family to New Zealand, where he attended the Anglican boys' boarding school Christ's College in Christchurch. He then went on to study English literature at the University of Canterbury where he had his first exposure to acting. While at university he lived at College House. He then moved to Wellington to continue his tertiary education at Victoria University, where he graduated BA in English literature...
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