Ben Carson Biography Moves to TV Feb. 7
Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr. to portray Adventist surgeon
uba Gooding Jr., a veteran actor who received an Academy Award® for his performance in Jerry Maguire will portray Dr. Benjamin S. Carson in a TNT Original television movie, “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,” the cable network said. Kimberly Elise, two-time NAACP Image Award winner, portrays Sonya Carson, Ben’s mother, and Aunjanue Ellis appears as Carson’s wife, Candy.
The movie, which is scheduled for broadcast on the evening of February 7, 2009, is based on Carson’s inspirational memoir, and will trace his journey from frustrated inner-city kid to director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
GIFTED HANDS: Cuba Gooding Jr., veteran actor and Academy Award winner, portrays Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, a neurosurgeon and member of Spencerville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, in a film version of his autobiography. The story will air on the TNT cable network Feb. 7. [Photos courtesy TNT]
Carson, a member of Spencerville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, is also noted for his Ben Carson Scholars program aimed at helping other urban youths with education and personal development. He also was a 2008 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
“Gifted Hands is more than just an inspirational tale of overcoming seemingly impossible odds to succeed,” TNT senior vice president Michael Wright said in a statement. “It’s that rare story of finding something deeper and more meaningful in life, while facing the challenges of the world with faith, hope and courage. We are honored to be making this film and to have Cuba Gooding Jr. in the lead role. He is truly one of the most gifted actors working today.”
Carson’s memoir, which was written with Cecil Murphey and first published by Zondervan in 1996, describes life as a child on the mean streets of Detroit. Carson faced difficulties early on, when his father abandoned the family. “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my mother,” Carson later wrote. Sonya Carson pushed her son to become the best he could be through education. Carson recalled her saying over and over to him, “Bennie, if you can read, honey, you can learn just about anything you want to know. The doors of the world are open to people who can read.”
With a new pair of glasses, and the encouragement to spend time at his local library, Carson dove into the world of books. His scholastic performance improved dramatically. He went on to Yale University and the University of Michigan Medical School, refusing to give up on the dream he and his mother had for his future, even when prejudice and negative peer pressure threatened to stand in his way. Carson is now a best-selling author and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, where he pours everything he has into helping young people overcome their medical limitations and fulfill their own dreams.
President George W. Bush bestowed the Medal of Freedom on Carson at a ceremony in June 2008 (see Adventist Review, July 3, 2008). In the White House announcement, Carson was honored for working throughout his career “to improve the lives of those suffering from neurological disorders. His groundbreaking contributions to medicine and his inspiring efforts to help America’s youth fulfill their potential have strengthened our nation.”
At the time, President Bush praised Carson and his wife, Candy, for founding The Carson Scholars Fund, Inc., a non-profit national scholarship fund that promotes similar academic achievement by recognizing and rewarding students in grades 4-11 who demonstrate academic excellence and commitment to community.
During the ceremony, Bush also singled out Carson's mother, Sonya, who--seated near Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and former Senator Bob Dole--stood to receive the president's welcome. "Some moms are simply forces of nature who never take 'no' for an answer," Bush said. "I understand," he added, alluding to his own mother and eliciting laughter from the audience.
Cuba Gooding Jr. earned an Academy Award for his dynamic, breakthrough performance in 1996’s Jerry Maguire, for which he also received a Screen Actors Guild Award® and a Golden Globe® nomination. 
      -- Based on information supplied by Turner Broadcasting, with reporting by AR staff and Adventist News Network


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