GOOD MORNING: Barbra Streisand doesn’t want to again be an on-again, off-again award show participant — this time for next Monday’s Oscars. You recall last year’s in-again, out-again appearance to sing her nominated song, “I Finally Found Someone” (which was eventually done by Celine Dion). Then followed the Grammys, when she was to duet with Dion but Barbra became ill and Dion did a solo. Now, Barbra was invited to attend the 70th Oscars as a previous winner (actress for “Funny Girl,” 1968, and original song “Evergreen” from “A Star Is Born,” 1976). But, today she is notifying Gil Cates that she cannot attend this year’s Oscars. She has a bulging spinal disc, she’s in-and-out of traction and undergoing therapy. And rather than say “yes” on one day when she’s feeling OK and then having to cancel the next day when she’s in pain — she’s declining today. Further, she’s suffering remnants of bronchitis, adds Marty Erlichman. Barbra was also to have joined fiance Jim Brolin and his 10-year-old daughter on the latter’s Spring school break skiing vacation, but there’s also no snow biz for Barbra. … And Kirk Douglas will not be attending the Oscars this year, following his emotion-packed acceptance two years ago. He was injured in a freak accident after leaving his car in gear on his driveway. “I thought I was in a movie,” laughs Douglas: he chased the moving car and stopping it before it rolled into street traffic. But he injured his shoulder in the car capture. It hasn’t stopped Kirk’s other main activity: writing. He’s completing “Young Heroes,” his second children’s book for Simon & Schuster. This one’s about bible characters “told in a amusing way,” he adds. His first book for kids, “The Broken Mirror,” has topped 75,000 copies — with all Douglas’ fees going to Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation, which documents the testimonies of the holocaust survivors.
TALES OF THE ‘TITANIC’ BIZNESS keep floating in, reports producer Jon Landau. F’rinstance, there’s a city in Sweden where theater admissions have now exceeded the town’s population! And there’s a “Titanic” club on the Internet in which, to be a member, you must have seen the movie every Saturday night. It’s run on the honor system, says Landau. The minimum forecast for the pic’s boxoffice is now over $1.4 billion. “But we like to talk in terms of admissions rather than boxoffice,” he says of the pic which is crossing over all demographics. The videotape is due at year’s end, a two-parter in the U.S., single overseas. It’s expected that, down the road, more people will have seen it on those tapes than in the theaters. THX is overseeing high quality sound transfer Chuck Workman, for the ninth year, is editing a special seg for the Oscar show. This year, it’s a retro of the 70 years — to be edited into five minutes! He’s covering everything from dinner at the Ambassador Hotel to today. There’s humor and emotion. And even a political seg with, of course, the Sasheen Littlefeather appearance for Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra warning winners not to politicize, and Vanessa Redgrave being boo’d for her remarks. Sure there’s fashion — funny and glamorous and giants to remember. Workman’s also winding his docufeature about the Beat Generation, “The Source” and just filmed Brad Pitt performing some of Jack Kerouac. Dennis Hopper does Will Burroughs and John Turturro plays Allen Ginsberg. Workman has been working on it three years with Hiro Yamagata as exec producer. … David Wolper recalls 50 years ago, when, as a student at USC, he was publicity director for classmate Art Buchwald’s campus play, “No Love Atoll.” To promote it, they put another Trojan in an ape suit, hired a limo, went to the Oscars and marched down the red carpet with the ape advertising “See USC’s show, ‘No Love Atoll.’ ” They were promptly tossed out. On Monday, Wolper returns to the Oscars, with his wife Gloria, but sans Buchwald — or ape — to walk down the red carpet as exec producer of the nine-times-nominated “L.A. Confidential.”
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Barbara and Marvin Davis’ Carousel of Hope, with eight months to go for its Oct. 23 gala at the BevHilton Hotel, has already raised $2.015 million for the children’s diabetes charity. While Celine Dion and Babyface headline, the Davises always have a few surprises. … Barbara Sinatra was birthday’d at a Bel-Air Hotel lunch, where she asked the ladies to tell a joke instead of bringing a gift. Old Blue Eyes, however, sent red roses. … Cheryl and Haim Saban’s daughter Tifanie Christun announced her engagement to Chris Chaney. The bride, a poet-actress, is also music engineer at Saban Entertainment. The groom is a musicia. … Tyrone Power has dropped the “Jr.” from his billing (he’s actually Tyrone Power IV) as he next stars in Clyde Ware’s western, “Partners,” in which Patricia Manterola will costar. Director-writer Ware is also taking a partner — and will wed Mexican actress Cynthia Cazaris when the pic winds. … Yes, that was Hugh Hefner and Barbi Benton walking hand in hand down Sunset Blvd. They remain good friends — went together nine years and she has since been married to George Gradow 14 years.