Walters Postpones Pre-Oscars Special

With military action looming, Barbara Walters has delayed her pre-Oscar special, even though the awards show Sunday is still scheduled.

The Barbara Walters Special was scheduled to air immediately before the Oscars, featuring exclusive interviews with Nicolas Cage, Renée Zellweger and Julianne Moore at the stars' homes.

"With such serious issues facing the nation, it was the right decision to postpone the special," said Walters.

Oscar organizers are saying that the ceremony will go on. But it will be toned down in respect to the looming threat of war with Iraq. The red carpet will remain, but the throngs of reporters and photographers and bleachers for fans in front of the Kodak Theatre will be gone.

No Airdate Set

No new airdate has been set for Walters' special, which will feature three of Hollywood's most intriguing celebrities.

For a man who chose a career that keeps him in the public eye, Cage has tried to keep his private life just that. He has shied away from questions about his personal life since his divorce from Patricia Arquette back in 2000. Walters penetrates Cage's veneer, and he talks about his tumultuous romance with Lisa Marie Presley and their short-lived marriage, which ended in December 2001, after just 108 days.

Cage, who won a best actor Oscar for his performance in Leaving Las Vegas (1995), is up for another best actor trophy. In Adaptation, he plays Charlie Kaufman, a screenwriter addled by self-loathing and resentment toward his cocky and carefree twin brother, Donald.

Zellweger sat in the nominee circle last year for her leading role in Bridget Jones's Diary. This year she's in the running for a best actress Oscar for her portrayal of the scheming Roxie Hart in the film adaptation of Bob Fosse's stage musical Chicago.

Zellweger, an Austin, Texas, native who transformed herself into a frumpy Brit in Bridget Jones, pulls off another metamorphosis in Chicago, recreating herself as a sexy chanteuse hoping to steal the spotlight from vampy Velma Kelly (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones). Zellweger talks with Walters about her personal triumphs and her extraordinary rise to Hollywood's top tier.

Julianne Moore is in the running for two statuettes. She is nominated for best actress for her portrayal in Far From Heaven of a 1950s Connecticut housewife who develops a close relationship with her African-American gardener as her marriage to an advertising executive (played by Dennis Quaid) crumbles. Moore is also up for a best supporting actress award for her role as another unhappy 1950s housewife in The Hours.

She has been nominated twice before — for best supporting actress in 1997's Boogie Nights and best actress for The End of the Affair (1999). Moore talks with Walters about her career and her personal life with director Bart Freundlich.