Swank was right for role

Hilary Swank has Sandra Bullock and Ashley Judd to thank for her Best Actress Oscar for “Million Dollar Baby,” reports The New York Post – because the role was refused by both actresses.

Producer Albert S. Ruddy’s first choice for the part of a tragic female boxer was Bullock, who turned down the part when she was told she could not pick the director.

Ruddy next approached Judd, whose salary demands would have busted the budget.

After Ruddy finally settled on Swank, Bullock’s agent called him and said she would do the picture after all, but “Al just said, “Too late,”‘ says a source.

“Million Dollar Baby” is the second Best Actress Oscar win for Swank: She took home the trophy in 2000 for “Boys Don’t Cry.”

– Knight Ridder Newspapers

Lynn earns country honor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Loretta Lynn will receive the CMT Johnny Cash Visionary Award next month, just a few days before her 70th birthday.

The award recognizes an artist’s musical vision, innovative music videos and pioneering initiatives in entertainment. It was known as the Video Visionary Award but was renamed in honor of Cash last year.

Lynn will be honored April 11 during the live broadcast of Country Music Television’s 2005 Music Awards, hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy, from the Gaylord Entertainment Center. She turns 70 on April 14.

She won two Grammy Awards last month for her album, “Van Lear Rose,” produced by Jack White of the White Stripes.

The Dixie Chicks won the first Video Visionary Award in 2002. Cash won the award in 2003 and Reba McEntire was honored last year.

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