Sam Johnson quits acting


Just weeks after Seven’s Molly miniseries aired, actor Sam Johnson has announced he will stop acting to focus on the fight against cancer.

Announcing the shift on Facebook, he told the Love Your Sister followers he would stop performing except for the lucrative voice-over work.

“I can’t act anymore. Not if I’m to serve you properly. This village means everything to me and I’m tired of other things dragging me away from you,” the post read.

“I cannot play pretend on telly while our families are falling. Cancer is the last true riddle of our time (not of our doing) and I wanna be part of the push to solve it once and for all — part of the new ‘moonshot’. To be honest, something’s gotta kill us. I don’t really have such a problem with cancer if it attacks someone after they’ve enjoyed a full life – fair price. But when it cuts down mums before they can see their kids grow, when it takes out innocent children…well, then I get majorly f***ing offended.

“I won’t play pretend on television while science is being murdered. Not while federal funding for research remains static for ten years. Not while the CSIRO is being bulldozed. Not while climate science is still being denied. Not until I fulfil my promise to you.”

Johnson, who recently received an Order of Australia award for service to cancer research support organisations and to the performing arts, has previously undertaken a marathon unicycle trek across the country in support of the Love Your Sister campaign.

But he has also been frank in interviews about the trappings of showbiz, indicating a cynicism about the television industry and a lack of regular acting work. Last month a solid round of interviews for Seven may have also contributed to his decision. Yet many admire his unconventional approach to stardom and commitment to charity.

“We’re not going to get there if I’m off gallivanting. So I won’t. Not until we get to that $10M and show those faceless f***ers at the top end of town just how serious we are about research here at ground level,” he posted.

“Not while people still believe that positive thinking and apricot kernels and hugs will cure it. Not while conspiracy theorists are stupidly assuming that our scientists would dare allow big pharma to hide their discoveries.

“I love acting, it’s the best job in the world. But the thing is, being a ‘vollie’ for healthy families kinds wins hands down. No contest. If it weren’t for Molly, I’d have done it sooner.

“So call me Molly if you like. Call me Research Australia’s Advocate of the Year. Call me that annoying voice over guy. Call me a fundraiser, an advocate, an activist. Call me a brother who tries hard. Just don’t call me an actor. Not until we as a nation are as threatened by cancer as we are by terrorism. Not until the $10M is raised.

“Let’s f***en do this. I love you. Here’s to our Village! Here’s to the good fight. Here’s to every single scientist in the country. Here’s to a world that wages war to save lives, not ruin them. And here’s to kicking cancer in the face-hole once and for all.”

“ps — I will still have to do the odd voice-over so I can eat if that’s OK!”


  1. Obama has pledged $500m to reform a trillion dollar industry and co-ordinate efforts, reduce duplication, make methods transparent and available, and ensure that data is provided. Instead of scientists conducting small projects of dubious value just to get published, get media attention and thus get more funding. I’ll back that to help more.

    Of course it depends what you mean by cancer. Many like Lung, Liver and Colon cancer can be prevents. Basal Cell and Squamous Cell carcinomas can be managed by regular inspection and burning off as they crop up. With Pancreatic Cancer, Glioblastomas and Ovarian Cancer there is a still a ways to go

  2. And how can he say he’s “quitting acting” when nobody has hired him for an acting gig in over 12 months? Think that decision was made for you by others Sam!

  3. His quotes just reaffirm my dislike for him. His comments about natural cancer healing are rude and insensitive. Everybody’s cancer journey is personal to them, it’s not for him to pass judgement about someone’s choice of treatment. Sounds like he’s just money-hungry to me.

    • Looking at your website, I’m not surprised you disagree with his advocacy of science…

      But as cynical as I normally am about things that look and feel like PR stunts, at least he’s putting his money where his mouth is – and not for the first time. Kudos to him.

      • Secret Squïrrel

        Dear oh dear. How did humans manage to dominate this planet before we had colonic flushes and “infra-red saunas”? Presumably, the “toxic overload” that apparently needs to be reduced is mostly due to the cyanide from eating all those apricot kernels to try and kill cancer cells. Sheesh.

      • Are you referring to the part on my website where I detail how I overcame cancer largely using natural protocols? That’s why I disagree with a mediocre television actor dismissing some of the very things I used to survive, in order to attract more funds for his charity.

        Check out the post on LYS facebook, he’s hurling abuse and telling people to f*** off when they pull him up on his language use. Not the best look from someone committed to attracting $10M for research. Quite strange really.

        • No, I would never be so crass – at least, not in a comment that David would let pass, as it were 😉 . I’m just not suprised that someone who runs a natural therapy business would criticise someone who’s an outspoken advocate for scientific research.

          But the fact is we’re talking about a guy who in the last dozen or so years has raised several million $ for cancer research – and is now cutting back his day job to raise even more. You might not like his style, but you can’t legitimately claim he’s just being “money-hungry”.

          I’m glad your methods worked for you. I’m not unacquainted with natural & holistic therapies &, given our proximity, there’s a good chance we know a few of the same people. But I’m also glad to still have friends & loved ones who’ve overcome cancer due to medical science – including some who almost didn’t due to a belief in non-scientific therapies.

    • And if that attention results in a higher profile for the cause or another job for him that means he can spend a bit more time on he cause that is a good thing.

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