'Dukes of Hazzard's' high sheriff sues for royalties

Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on "The Dukes of Hazzard" - also known as character actor James Best of Hickory - filed suit this week seeking back payments from Time Warner for using his image on merchandise ranging from Christmas ornaments to trash cans.

Best played the bumbling lawman constantly in pursuit of Luke and Bo Duke and their Dodge Charger "General Lee" on the popular comedy that ran on CBS from 1979 to 1985.

Best, who turned 85 on Tuesday, moved to Hickory about five years ago and is still active in show business.

In the lawsuit, filed here in federal court against Time Warner and Warner Brothers Entertainment, Best said under his 1978 contract, he is entitled to 5 percent of royalties for "Dukes of Hazzard" merchandise that bears Sheriff Coltrane's likeness.

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