Media Mogul & Actress, Oprah Winfrey has signed on to star in the HBO Films adaptation of Rebecca Skloot‘s best-selling biography- ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’.
The book tells the life of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cancerous cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line (HeLa).
Henrietta Lacks was a black woman suffering from cervical cancer who passed in the early ’50s. After her death, doctors, unbeknownst to her family, used her cancer cells for research. Those studies eventually led to several medical advances, including the polio vaccine.
Unethical as it was, the doctors never had permission to use or later clone Lacks’ cells and her family only found out years later.
Henrietta Lacks’ sons David Lacks Jr. and Zakariyya Rahman and granddaughter Jeri Lacks are consultants on the project and filming will begin in summer.