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'You Can't Make Up This Story'

A Texas dentist made headlines in 2002 when she ran down her husband with her Mercedes Benz after catching him in a hotel with another woman.

Clara Harris circled around a hotel parking lot, running over her husband three times.

In the sensational trial that followed she was found guilty of murdering her husband, David Harris, an orthodontist who was having an affair with a receptionist in the office they shared.

"I think many people only -- of course, only knew the headline: Clara Harris runs over her husband three times in a Mercedes and laughs," said actress Sela Ward, who stars in a TV movie based on the murder. "And you really don't know the real story and this is a true story as you're watching. You can't make this up. It's stranger than fiction"

The CBS television movie entitled "Suburban Madness" tells Clara Harris' story but from the vantage point of a private detective played by Ward, who won an Emmy for her starring role in the TV series "Once and Again."

The actress told co-anchor Julie Chen her character is based on a real-life investigator whom she met before filming began. "She's a very real person. Actually a lovely person," Ward said. "I went down to Houston, Texas, to meet her. The story is told through her eyes."

Ward, who also won an Emmy for her portrayal of Teddy on the award-winning series "Sisters," described her character as "very jaded."

"In fidelity is her daily bread," the actress said of the character who also had been cheated on by three ex-husbands. "So she has a great arc from being bitter to coming around to maybe there is hope and the possibility for all of the married ones out there."

Ward said this is not a typical TV movie. "Thank God, or I wouldn't have done it, she said. "It's by the producers of 'Chicago,' the movie that was done, and they always do very interesting pieces. So it's actually a black comedy about marriage and infidelity in America. And Clara Harris, her story is sort of the focus of it all."

The Mississippi-born cheerleader and homecoming queen started out as a model. Ward made her acting debut opposite Burt Reynolds in "The Man Who Loved Women.".

Last year, Ward's memoir "Homesick" appeared on The New York Times bestseller list.

"Suburban Madness" airs as the "CBS Sunday Movie" Sunday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m.

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