Inside Hollywood: Oprah Tapped to Star in "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
HBO is bringing “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” to the small screen and Oprah is set to star as Henrietta, a poor African America Baltimore mother of five, who died of cervical cancer in 1951 at age 31.
Without her family’s knowledge her cancerous cells were removed from her body and cultured for medical research by doctors at Johns Hopkins, which led to significant breakthroughs in medical research, ranging from aiding the development of the cure for polio to AIDS-related treatments.
The HBO movie will be based on the novel “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. After Oprah read all 384 pages in one sitting she reportedly loved the book so much that in 2010 Harpo Films acquired the rights to the New York Time’s bestselling novel. Veteran Broadway director/producer and Tony Winner George C. Wolfe (HBO’s Lackawanna Blues) wrote the adaptation and will direct the film. Skloot serves as co-executive producer, while Henrietta Lacks’ sons David Lacks Jr. and Zakariyya Rahman and granddaughter Jeri Lacks are consultants. Shooting will begin this summer.