Sam Neill’s Ex-wife Noriko Watanabe – Were Almost Married For Three Decades

Sam Neill's ex wife Noriko WatanabeNoriko Watanabe and Sam Neill were together for almost three decades. Image Source: Noriko's Instagram.

Sam Neill, born Nigel John Dermot, is a famous actor, producer, and director from New Zealand. He is most famous for his role in the Jurrasic Park movie series as Dr. Alan Grant. Similarly, Sam began his acting career in 1975. However, he rose to prominence after starring in the 1977 movie Sleeping Dogs.

Since then, Sam has acted in many big Hollywood movies and worked in TV series such as Peaky Blinders. In addition, he has even dubbed voice for popular shows like The Simpsons and Rick and Morty. 

Apart from his glorious acting career, Sam Neill has a brief past with women and marriages. He was in a relationship with actress Lisa Harrow for a long period. In addition, Sam was married to Japanese makeup artist Noriko Watanabe for almost three decades. During their marriage, the couple welcomed a child together.

So, in today’s article, let’s talk about Sam Neill’s ex-wife Noriko Watanabe.

Is A Stylist From Japan

Sam Neill’s ex-spouse Noriko Watanabe is a hairstylist and makeup artist born in Tokyo, Japan. She might have spent her childhood in the country of the rising sun before moving to the United States for future endeavors. Noriko has worked in the makeup department of many Hollywood movies.

Substantially, Watanabe’s first notable credit was in the movie The Everlasting Secret Family in 1988. Since then, she has applied her trade as a makeup artist in many films, personally styling big celebrities like Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, Benedict Cumberbatch, and others. Noriko has also worked in the TV series, Top of the Lake.

Sam Neill's ex-wife Noriko Watanabe
Sam Neill’s ex-wife Noriko Watanabe is a successful make-up artist in Hollywood. Image Source: Noriko’s Instagram.

Noriko’s friend and movie director, Jane Campion was awarded the prestigious Silver Lion for Best Direction for her movie, The Power of The Dog. Sam Neill’s ex-wife had worked in the makeup department of the movie and shares a lovely bond with Jane. In addition, Watanabe posted a picture congratulating Jane on her achievement.

Additionally, Noriko Watanabe herself has also won an award for her contribution. In 2006, Watanabe won a Hollywood Film Awards for Best Film Hair and Makeup for the film Hacksaw Ridge. 

Also Read: Know About Ernie Johnson Jr.’s Wife Cheryl Johnson 

Is The Ex-Wife Of Sam Neill

Noriko Watanabe met her ex-lover, Sam Neill on the sets of one of her movies. In 1989, while working for the movie Dead Calm, she came across Sam, who instantly fell for her beauty.

The pair tied the knot in 1989 in a private wedding ceremony. However, this wasn’t the first time both individuals were getting married. Prior to marrying Sam, Noriko had already gone through a divorce. She also had a daughter named, Maiko Spencer from her failed marriage.


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A post shared by Noriko Watanabe (@beingnoriko)

On the other hand, Noriko Watanabe’s ex-husband was also in a brief relationship with actress Lisa Harrow from 1980 to 1989 and had a son, Tim Neill.

Unfortunately, the love birds who thought they had found their perfect ones divorced in 2017, after almost three-decades-long marriage. Following their divorce, Noriko’s ex-partner has moved on and is currently dating Australian political journalist Laura Tingle.

As for the make-up artist, she is not currently in any relationships. Instead, Sam Neill’s ex-wife is very close to her daughter, Maiko, and constantly shares pictures with her.

Welcomed A Daughter With Sam

The make-up artist and her ex-husband Sam Neill were married for almost thirty years. During their togetherness, they were blessed with a baby girl, Elena Neill. She was born on 10th January 1991 in Australia.

Noriko Watanabe’s daughter has appeared in a few projects. In addition, Elena has also worked with her mother in the TV series, Top of the Lake, where Noriko was the head stylist in 2017. Her daughter played a cameo as a tattoo artist in the show. However, Elena has not appeared on any projects and films since her last appearance five years ago.

Furthermore, Noriko also has a grandchild from her daughter, Elena. A few years ago, her ex-husband, Sam talked about the birth of his grandson. He said he and his then-wife, Noriko Watanabe, were delighted with the newest addition to the family.

Well, the former pair are not together anymore but we wish Sam Neill’s ex-wife Noriko Watanabe all the best for her future career.

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