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Oprah to Star in ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ for HBO

Oprah Winfrey Henrietta Lacks

What can’t Oprah do? In addition to running her media empire, which includes a magazine, TV network, and studio, the former Queen of Daytime is adding another item to her overstuffed plate–movie star.

An accomplished actress, Winfrey has been extremely selective about the roles she’s taken on. But after her production company, Harpo, acquired the film rights to the wildly popular novel the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in 2010, the project seemed to languish in development for years. Now, things have changed.

Winfrey recently signed on to star in the film, which will air on HBO, and the project is now on the fast track, according to Variety.

Based on Rebecca Skloot’s novel about a Black woman whose cells were taken without her consent and used to develop a host of medical breakthroughs like the polio vaccine, gene mapping, cloning, and in vitro fertilization, the film adaptation will be told from her daughter’s perspective.

Winfrey will play the role of Deborah Lacks, Henrietta’s daughter, and Lacks’ sons Zakariyya Rahman and David Lacks, Jr., as well as her granddaughter Jeri Lacksare will serve as consultants on the film.

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