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Lucious Lyon’s Mother, Leslie Uggams, Joins Oprah In ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’

Deadline reports that actress, Leslie Marian Uggams, has been added to the cast of the HBO film, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  Oprah Winfrey and screenwriter Alan Ball collaborated in order to bring Rebecca Skloot’s nonfiction book to life.  The talented actress plays Leah Walker, Lucious Lyon’s bipolar mother, on the Fox series Empire.  The news has everyone wondering when Oprah will make her appearance on Empire.

According to People Uggams has been dazzling fans on the big screen for the last six decades.  She made her acting debut in 1951 on the ABC show Beulah.  In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks she will play Henrietta’s best friend who happens to be her cousin.  Despite already being filthy rich, Oprah has somehow found some motivation to keep working.  She plays Mavis McCready on her television series Greenleaf and she’ll be playing Deborah Lacks in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Lucious Lyon's Mother Leslie Uggams
Lucious Lyon’s Mother Leslie Uggams

The book was written in 2010 by author, Rebecca Skloot. It’s a nonfiction story about Henrietta Lacks, the African American woman whose cancer cells were used to create HeLa, an immortal cell line which has been used for scientific research.

Uggams aka Leah Walker will have some explaining to do once Empire returns.  On the Season 2 finale we found out that found out that Tariq Cousins is his half-brother.  It turns out that Tariq isn’t only a fed, he has a personal vendetta against Lucious.  Leah doesn’t play by anyone’s rules and is yet to explain her side of the story.

By Jason John

Jason John is based in Maryland and covers Empire BBK’s News and Entertainment. He was previously a producer for the mobile site, helping to present Empire BBK’s news report to readers. More