HBO Sets A Date For The Premiere Of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

Movies & TV

The life of Henrietta Lacks is finally getting the movie treatment, courtesy of HBO. It was announced Tuesday (Feb. 14) the film titled “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” will premiere April 22, just in time for Emmy consideration.

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Oprah Winfrey stars in the film adaption of Rebecca Skloot’s bestselling nonfiction novel as Deborah Lacks, Henrietta’s daughter. Deborah is on a search to learn about her mother whose cells helped advance modern medicine and create the first immortal human cell line. The film chronicles Deborah’s discovery and more importantly how the unauthorized use of Lack’s cells lead to breakthrough in medicine.

While Lack’s cells have gone on to help millions, her children however have not received any financial compensation from John Hopkins University. According to The Washington Post, Lacks eldest son, Lawrence, said he is the executor of his mother’s estate and believes that the surviving members of his family should reap any rewards. In 1951, Henrietta died at age 31 from an aggressive form of cervical cancer. Her cells were the first to live outside of the human body and because of this, went onto lead the charge in medical research. Vaccines, cancer treatments, in vitro fertilization all benefit from the HeLa cells.

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