Oprah Winfrey helps ‘Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ come alive on HBO – Los Angeles Times

One day, circa 2000, Rebecca Skloot was riding in a car with Deborah Lacks, whose late mother, Henrietta, had posthumously and unwittingly contributed to some of the most important medical research of the 20th century.

At the time, Skloot was a scrappy but barely published young journalist, and it would take a decade for her to complete the nonfiction book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” But Lacks had a prescient vision:

“‘This book is going to come out and it’s going to be a bestseller. There’s going to be a movie. Oprah is going to star in it,'” Skloot recalls Lacks saying during that drive. “And I was there going, ‘Deborah, Deborah, whoa, whoa, that’s crazy. Let’s be realistic here.'”

Nearly two decades later, Lacks’ prediction — which Skloot had forgotten until she recently unearthed it on an old audiotape — has been realized. Not only did Skloot’s 2010 book become a runaway bestseller, but it has been adapted into a movie starring, yes, Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah Winfrey helps ‘Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ come alive on HBO – Los Angeles Times

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