In 1951, a vibrant African-American woman was dying of cervical cancer at age 31. Under the bright lights of an operating room, surgeons harvested cells from her tumor that would prove to be astonishingly immortal and would change the face of medicine forever. Yet she, and any recognition of her involuntary donation, would long remain unknown. HBO Original Film “THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS” premieres same time as the U.S. on Sunday April 23 at 8am (SIN) on HBO with a same day primetime encore at 10:50pm (SIN). Also available on HBO On Demand and HBO GO.
The story is told through the eyes of Henrietta’s daughter, Deborah Lacks (Oprah Winfrey) who is aided by journalist, Rebecca Skloot (Rose Byrne). Deborah sets out to learn about the mother she never knew and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Henrietta’s (Renée Elise Goldsberry) cancerous cells led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, creating a medical revolution that changed countless lives. It’s a true story of medical arrogance and triumph, race, poverty and deep friendship between the unlikeliest of people.
The cast of “THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS” includes: Oprah Winfrey (as Deborah Lacks), Rose Byrne (as Rebecca Skloot), Renée Elise Goldsberry (as Henrietta Lacks), Reg E. Cathey (as Zakariyya), Rocky Carroll (as Sonny Lacks), Courtney B. Vance (as Sir Lord Keenan Kester Cofield), Ruben Santiago-Hudson (as Dr. Pattillo) and Leslie Uggams (as Sadie). Directed by George C. Wolfe from a screenplay by Peter Landesman and Alexander Woo and Wolfe, the film is based on the book by Rebecca Skloot. Alan Ball, Peter Macdissi, Oprah Winfrey, Carla Gardini and Lydia Dean Pilcher executive produce; Rebecca Skloot co-executive produces. Additional cast includes Reed Birney, Adriane Lenox, Roger Robinson and John Douglas Thomas.