Barbra on hand for baby biz

GOOD MORNING: When Deborah and Jeff Wald welcomed daughter Sarah March 25 at Santa Monica Hospital, friend Barbra Streisand was not only in attendance, in scrubs, at the baby’s birth — but she also unsqueamishly cut the umbilical cord. Following the baby’s birth, Streisand graciously posed with the happy parents and with the entire maternity staff, plus fiance James Brolin (Wald’s longtime client) and Sugar Ray Leonard, both of whom had paced the waiting room. Leonard’s wife, Bernadette, also attended the birth, as did Wald’s brother, pediatrician Dr. Peter Waldstein, and obstetrician Dr. Sheryl Ross. Wald also has a 35-year-old daughter Traci and 25-year-old son Jordan with ex-wife Helen Reddy and a 4-month-old granddaughter, Lily (daughter of Traci and Lucas Donat). … Streisand’s Barwood Films has optioned “Sweet Nothing in My Ear,” Stephen Sachs’ play abut conflicts within a “mixed” marriage (the wife is deaf, the husband is hearing). The parents argue over the fate of the couple’s deaf son. Sachs, co-artistic director of Hollywood’s Fountain Theatre which world preemed the play last summer, will write the screenplay. … One of Brandon Tartikoff’s pet projects, “Blade Squad,” cops on roller blades, is now in front of the cameras as a pilot for the Fox net by WB and Tartikoff’s H. Beale Co. Brandon will be listed as an exec producer along with Peter Iliff and Kim Fleary. Tartikoff had told me he wanted this series to have a different look, and director Ralph Hemecker is doing that, giving it a special, speedy, high-tech look. Corin Nemec (“Parker Lewis”) stars.

IRELAND WILL FINALLY get to see “The Exorcist” (1973). Director Billy Friedkin happily reports the film will go on screens there finally, and in re-release in the U.K. in October. Friedkin claims while the pic had received support “from the Catholic hierarchy in Rome, and major cardinals, some Catholic lay people thought it was blasphemous” — that, he said, is the reason for its not being shown in Ireland. Friedkin thanks WB’s Barry Reardon for the new “Exorcist” print and new soundtrack; Friedkin will intro his pic at Mann’s Chinese screening, at 9:30 p.m. Friday in Hollywood, as part of the studio’s marathon showing of its chef d’oeuvres, to celebrate its 75th anni. … With the great “Grease” reissue on its 20th anni, one can’t help wonder why Par didn’t also give “The Godfather,” one of the great pictures of all time, a bigger sendoff on its 25th anni? … In N.Y. this week, Dan Rather, Julia Roberts, Donald Trump and Beverly Sills are taping their opinions and choices for “The AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies.” The three-hour CBS special airs June 16 and the TNT series of 10 one-hour specials follow in successive weeks. Mel Stuart is a producer of the latter group. … Walter and Betsy Cronkite were at the Gershwin theater to see David Huddleston (who replaced Pat Hingle) in “1776.” They share a daughter: the Cronkites’ real daughter, Kathy, played Huddleston’s civil rights-attorney daughter in his series, “Hizzoner.” Huddleston, now on-screen in “The Big Lebowski,” is unloading his Santa Fe home. He’s signed with “1776” through next year, but plans to commute between L.A. and N.Y. … “The Three Carols” –Carol Burnett, Carol Channing and Carole Bayer Sager — will be saluted for their commitments to the fight against AIDS at AmFAR’s April 22 gala at the BevHilton. Lily Tomlin, Angela Lansbury, Chita Rivera, Christopher Cross, Bea Arthur, Tim Conway, Davis Gaines, Sam Harris, Melissa Manchester and Elaine Stritch will perform in the show produced by Barry Brown.

WHILE MEL TORME CONTINUES to make progress from his stroke, a Mel Torme songbook is in the works, the idea of Warner Chappell’s Frank Military. The book will contain 25 tunes that Mel picked this week. They include “Blue Moon,” “A Foggy Day” and, natch, “The Christmas Song.” It will also feature photos of Mel through seven decades of his life. WB publishes. Although wheelchaired, Torme makes regular Monday night outings to Hugh Hefner’s house for dinner and a movie. … Jay Livingston and Ray Evans headline Tin Pan Alley South at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium April 14. The show, “Living Legends,” recognizes the people and their songs who have affected our lives through the years. … Art Garfunkel, wife Kim Cernak and son James will perform at the White House Easter egg roll. … Phil Gallo, deputy news editor of Daily Variety, and Betsy Bergman, director of affiliate relations for “The Jerry Springer Show,” are engaged to wed next summer. He popped the question to her under the Eiffel Tower! … Joan Fontaine (Oscar winner for the 1941 “Suspicion”) was not among the past winners on hand for the 70th anni doings as she is recuping at her home in the Carmel Highlands, following hip replacement surgery March 20. “That (the surgery) was my Oscar celebration,” she laughed. She says she will again be able to get around and tend her 500 rose bushes. … Julian Myers, who placed third in the L.A. Marathon’s “Men 80-98” category (07:15;14) has orders from wife, Patsy to do it one hour fast next year!

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