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American Experience

Partners of the Heart (Season 15, Episode 8)
TV Episode | 60 min | Documentary, Biography, History

During World War II and the era of staunch racial segregation, a Black carpenter's son named Vivien Thomas, who had a talent for surgery, along with a white surgeon named Dr. Alfred Blalock, who defied the medical establishment created a ...See moreDuring World War II and the era of staunch racial segregation, a Black carpenter's son named Vivien Thomas, who had a talent for surgery, along with a white surgeon named Dr. Alfred Blalock, who defied the medical establishment created a partnership that changed the course of cardiac surgery. With only a high school diploma, Thomas became a leading cardiac pioneer and educator of two generations of the United States' premiere heart surgeons. This moving documentary tells the story of Thomas and his relationship with Blalock, one that ushered in advances in surgery that are still in existence today. Written by Leslye Allen (L. J. Allen-2) See less
Read more: Plot summary
Directors
Andrea Kalin | Bill Duke (re-enactments)
Production Designers
Status
Edit Released
Updated Sep 28, 2003

Release date
Feb 10, 2003 (United States)

Contacts

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Cast

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17 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
Alfred Blalock
Himself (archive footage) (as Dr. Alfred Blalock) Himself (archive footage) (as Dr. Alfred Blalock)   See fewer
Members only
Denton A. Cooley
Himself (as Dr. Denton A. Cooley) Himself (as Dr. Denton A. Cooley)   See fewer
Members only
John Dryden
Newsreel Voice (voice) Newsreel Voice (voice)   See fewer
Members only
Koco Eaton
Himself (as Dr. Koco Eaton) Himself (as Dr. Koco Eaton)   See fewer
Members only
Morgan Freeman
Himself - Narrator (voice) Himself - Narrator (voice)   See fewer
Top 5000
Christopher Haley
Dr. Vivien Thomas Dr. Vivien Thomas   See fewer
Members only
J. Alex Haller Jr.
Himself (as Dr. J. Alex Haller Jr.) Himself (as Dr. J. Alex Haller Jr.)   See fewer
Members only
Beau James
Dr. Alfred Blalock Dr. Alfred Blalock   See fewer
Members only
Jane Leuders
Dr. Helen Taussig Dr. Helen Taussig   See fewer
Members only
Richard Scott
Himself (as Dr. Richard Scott) Himself (as Dr. Richard Scott)   See fewer
Members only
Rowena Spencer
Herself (as Dr. Rowena Spencer) Herself (as Dr. Rowena Spencer)   See fewer
Members only
Helen Taussig
Herself (archive footage) (as Dr. Helen Taussig) Herself (archive footage) (as Dr. Helen Taussig)   See fewer
Members only
Vivien Thomas
Himself (archive footage) (as Dr. Vivien Thomas) Himself (archive footage) (as Dr. Vivien Thomas)   See fewer
Members only
Courtney B. Vance
Dr. Vivien Thomas (voice) Dr. Vivien Thomas (voice)   See fewer
Members only
Desiree Marie Velez
The Nurse (credit only) The Nurse (credit only)   See fewer
Members only
Levi Watkins
Himself (as Dr. Levi Watkins) Himself (as Dr. Levi Watkins)   See fewer
Members only
Tony Williams
Dr. Vivien Thomas at the Train Tracks Dr. Vivien Thomas at the Train Tracks   See fewer
Members only
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Ratings Breakdown

8.4 / 10 | 29 votes