Sam Neill

SAM NEILL  plays ALFRED NICHOL the hard-driving railroad tycoon on the verge of bankruptcy who sends his son James off to China to hire cheap workers.  He’s blind to James’ virtues until a crisis opens his eyes.  

Neill has appeared in over 80 films and television productions in Australia, the U.S. and Europe.

He is best known for Jane Campion's The Piano, with Holly Hunter, A Cry in the Dark, with Meryl Streep, Jurassic Park I and III, as well as Merlin, and his early British hit series Reilly-Ace of Spies.

His recent credits include The Tudors, with Jonathon Rhys Myers for Showtime & CBC,  plus the feature films Yes, Angel, Perfect Strangers, The Dish, and Irresistible.

Other standout films include Dead Calm, with Nicole Kidman, The Hunt for Red October, with Sean Connery, Plenty, with Meryl Streep, Wimbledon, with Kirsten Dunst, Dirty Deeds with Bryan Brown and My Brilliant Career with Judy Davis.

He received two Golden Globe nominations -- for Reilly-Ace of Spies, and Merlin, which also earned him an Emmy nomination.  Neill reprised the role of Merlin for David Wu in Merlin's Apprentice, shot in British Columbia, as was Iron Road. 

He has won one AFI (Australian Film Institute) award for A Cry in the Dark,
and two nominations for The Piano, and Death in Brunswick.  He received a further AFI nomination and a Logie as Best Actor for the miniseries Jessica.

As a director, Neill received an AFI nomination for The Brush Off.  He has also been awarded an O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) and a D.C.N.Z.M. (Distinguished Order of New Zealand) in 2007.

Born in Northern Ireland, he moved to New Zealand with his family as a child.  He graduated from Canterbury University with a BA in English Literature, then
worked with various theatre groups before spending five years with the
N.Z. National Film Unit as a documentary film director, writer and editor. He made his film debut in Roger Donaldson's Sleeping Dogs before moving to Australia
and a breakthrough performance in My Brilliant Career. This led to offers from
the UK, where he became famous as the title character in Reilly - Ace of Spies. 

He now lives in New Zealand and is the proprietor of Two Paddocks vineyard
near his home in Otago (  He is also an activist in
various environmental causes; he fly fishes, drinks wine with friends, and is the
father of four.