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McConaughey takes over role

LOS ANGELES - Matthew McConaughey is taking Owen Wilson's role in the comedy film "Tropic Thunder."

Wilson dropped out of the DreamWorks movie after an apparent suicide attempt last month.

"Tropic Thunder," which is filming in Hawaii, stars Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Nick Nolte, Bill Hader and Steve Coogan. Stiller also is directing.

McConaughey, 37, has an uncredited cameo in the movie, his publicist, Nicole Perez, said Wednesday.

"Tropic Thunder" is about a group of actors who gather on a remote island to shoot a big-budget war movie and are forced to become the soldiers they are playing.

Ina Treciokas, publicist for Wilson, didn't immediately return a telephone message seeking information on the actor's recovery.

Oscar-winning actor got dirty as 'King of California'

NEW YORK - Michael Douglas has two Oscars, a glamorous actress-wife and a home in Bermuda. Still, he was happy to get his hands dirty for his new movie, "King of California."

The 62-year-old actor got behind the wheel of a backhoe to portray Charlie, a bipolar musician on a quest to find buried treasure in the suburbs of Southern California.

"I learned how to use the shovel, and I wanted to go out like Charlie and just dig around," Douglas says in an interview on Parade.com. "What a feeling of power that is. It's just amazing the damage you could do with a backhoe."

Another first for Douglas: Spending time at Costco.

"I had never been to a Costco before, and it was incredible," says Douglas, who spent a few nights filming at the store.

"I'd get home at 9 o'clock in the morning and I'd pop the trunk and I had all these Hawaiian coconut drinks and bags of toys and stuff from my shopping sprees," he said.

Douglas married Catherine Zeta-Jones in 2000. They have two children - son Dylan, 7, and daughter Carys, 4 - and live much of the year on the island of Bermuda.

He has won two Oscars - as a producer for 1975's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and as an actor for his role as Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street."

Rather files $70 million lawsuit against CBS

NEW YORK - Dan Rather filed a

$70 million lawsuit Wednesday against CBS, alleging that the network made him a "scapegoat" for a discredited story about President Bush's National Guard service.

The 75-year-old Rather, whose final months were clouded by controversy over the report, says the complaint stems from "CBS' intentional mishandling" of the aftermath of the story.

The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, also names CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves, Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner Redstone, and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward.

Rather is seeking $20 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.

CBS spokesman Dana McClintock said: "These complaints are old news, and this lawsuit is without merit."

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