Born in Ireland where father was stationed during military service
Returned with family to their native New Zealand at age eight
Member of New Zealand's Amamus Repertory Theatre for two years
Joined New Zealand National Film Unit as a director and actor
Made feature film debut playing the lead in Roger Donaldson's "Sleeping Dogs" (first New Zealand production ever released in U.S.)
Breakthrough film role as the suitor to writer Sybylla Melvin in "My Brilliant Career"; first collaboration with Judy Davis
First U.S. film, "Omen III: The Final Conflict," the third film in "The Omen" trilogy
Played the title role of Sidney Reilly on the PBS drama series "Reilly, Ace of Spies"; earned a Golden Globe nomination
Acted opposite Meryl Streep in Fred Schepisi's "Plenty"
Portrayed Colonel Andrei Denisov in ABC's acclaimed miniseries "Amerika"
Re-teamed with Schepisi and Streep for "A Cry in the Dark"
Starred opposite Nicole Kidman in Phillip Noyce's "Dead Calm"
Credited as John Dermot for his cameo in "Shadow of China"
Played Captain Second Rank Vasily Borodin in "The Hunt for Red October"
Acted in Wim Wenders' "Until the End of the World"
Played opposite Judy Davis in CBS's "One Against the Wind"
Starred in the Australian film "Death in Brunswick"
First association with director John Carpenter, "Memoirs of an Invisible Man"
Starred opposite Anjelica Huston in the ABC miniseries "Family Pictures"
Starred as the New Zealand farmer who enters an arranged marriage with a Scottish woman in Jane Campion's "The Piano"
Played a paleontologist who encounters dinosaurs in Steven Spielberg's blockbuster "Jurassic Park"
Re-teamed with Carpenter for "In the Mouth of Madness"
Portrayed charismatic King Charles II in "Restoration"
Returned to documentary filmmaking with "Cinema of Unease: A Personal Journey By Sam Neill," an autobiographical account of the New Zealand cinema; co-directed and co-scripted with Julie Rymer
Re-teamed with Judy Davis for the black comedy "Children of the Revolution"
Played the lead in "The Revengers' Comedies," co-starring Helena Bonham Carter and Kristin Scott Thomas (aired in the U.S. as "Sweet Revenge")
Played Kristin Scott Thomas' husband in Robert Redford's "The Horse Whisperer"
Portrayed the legendary wizard in the acclaimed NBC miniseries "Merlin"; received an Emmy nomination
Appeared in a supporting role in the biopic "Molokai: The Story of Father Damien"
Cast as a wealthy man who buys a robot for his family in "Bicentennial Man"
Portrayed U.S. President Thomas Jefferson in the CBS miniseries "Sally Hemings: An American Scandal"
Starred in the Australian film "The Dish"
Appeared in the Scandinavian drama "The Zoo Keeper"
Played a lead role in the based-on-fact NBC movie "Submerged"
Co-starred in sequel "Jurassic Park III" alongside Tea Leoni and William H. Macy
Cast opposite Keira Knightley in the miniseries "Doctor Zhivago" (PBS)
Played the father of Kirsten Dunst's character in the romantic comedy "Wimbledon"
Starred as Joan Allen's husband in "Yes"
Co-starred with Cate Blanchett in the Australian film "Little Fish"
Played the title role in the British comedy-drama film "Dean Spanley" alongside Jeremy Northam and Peter O'Toole
Cast as Jeremiah Blackthorn on the NBC adventure series "Crusoe"
Re-teamed with Peter O'Toole in the Canadian miniseries "Iron Road"
Cast as Charles Bromley, a vampire in charge of a powerful corporation, in the sci-fi film "Daybreakers"
Acted on the ABC mystery drama series "Happy Town"
Featured on J. J. Abrams produced "Alcatraz" (Fox)
Featured opposite Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum in romantic drama "The Vow"