More MS news articles for July 2001

Williams Plans Movie On Triumph, Tragedy Of Dr. Charles Drew

By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith

Montel Williams plans to do a biopic on the life of Dr. Charles Drew, who pioneered the use of blood plasma in tranfusions -- only to die from wounds suffered in a car accident after being refused a blood transfusion at a white hospital in the "Jim Crow" South.

"I've spoken about Dr. Drew when speaking around the country several times, just on the irony of man's inhumanity to man," says Williams. "I never thought anyone would ever even think about making a movie of his life. Then I came across a couple of scripts that were written almost 25 years ago."

Williams says he's working with Paramount President of Programming Greg Meidel on the project, but acknowledges there are obstacles to getting the story off the ground because, he says, of revisionist history. "If you were to tap into information on Dr. Drew up till '92-'93, almost everything you read talked about the atrocity of his being taken to a hospital that refused to serve him. Now, all of a sudden, most Websites say it's a myth that he wasn't treated. "

Williams believes, "History is being rewritten about Dr. Drew because it's a part of America's embarrassment. So, as crazy as it sounds, not only do we have to get the rights, we have to go back and revalidate the story."

Meanwhile, Williams -- who's about to resign for another round of "The Montel Williams Show" -- is out tubthumping for his new fitness book, "BodyChange," co-written by his personal trainer, Wini Linguvic. Williams, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, says there's been such a strong response to the text about getting and staying fit in 21 days, "several weight loss organizations have asked if they may use 'BodyChange' as a sanctioned exercise program."