Joy Theatre screens film on legendary medical alum

January 15, 2013 9:00 AM

Kirby Messinger

Dr. Tony Herring, producer of the documentary DeBakey, set out to learn what made his mentor, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, tick. The late medical pioneer and notable Tulane University alumnus is the focus of a documentary and discussion that will be presented on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the newly renovated Joy Theatre in downtown New Orleans by BioDistrict New Orleans and the New Orleans Film Society.

Dr. Michael DeBakey

The late Dr. Michael DeBakey is the focus of a documentary that will be shown free on Jan. 22. (Photo from the Baylor College of Medicine)

Herring and director Ken Mandel will present their documentary, DeBakey, which pays homage to the life of the world-renowned cardiac surgeon who received his undergraduate degree in 1930 and his medical degree in 1932 from Tulane.

The documentary carries audiences through DeBakey’s remarkable history, touching on his personal life, his numerous professional accomplishments and his legacy within the context of medical science.

DeBakey continued to perform heart surgery into his 90s. Among his famous patients were Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Russia's Boris Yeltzin and Jordan's King Hussein.

Herring, chief of staff at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas and a former student of DeBakey, produced the film shortly before DeBakey’s death in 2008 at the age of 99. 

Mandel is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose interests include music, health-related issues and the impact of hurricanes.

The screening at the Joy Theatre, 1200 Canal St., at 6:45 p.m. on Jan. 22 is free and open to the public, but registration is requested.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu