The Insider

updated 03/21/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/21/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

THIS BUD'S FOR YOU

There are probably thousands of women who would absolutely swoon if they got roses from actor Wesley Snipes, but Grammy-winning singer Toni Braxton, 26, isn't one of them. We hear, though, that her marked lack of enthusiasm didn't stop the 31-year-old Snipes from trying to win her affections with dozens of blooms during the last couple of months—once even signing the accompanying note, "Yo, baby. Call me."

She didn't, and we suspect she won't anytime soon. That's because Braxton already has a steady: Bryant Reid, 30ish, coproducer of her debut album and director of artists-and-repertoire at LaFace Records. And according to a source close to Braxton, the couple are "quite happy together."

Snipes's representative, meanwhile, would only say that his client "is a big fan" of Braxton's.

MIRACLE CASTING

Richard Attenborough, who is set to play Santa Claus in director John Hughes's upcoming remake of Miracle on 34th Street, recently told Daily Variety that the child's role played in 1947 by a precocious 8-year-old Natalie Wood would go to a little boy, because the movie "might be a little oversentimental with a little girl."

Well, perhaps Hughes hasn't told Attenborough yet, but a little girl has indeed been cast in the role. She's 6-year-old Mara Wilson, who plays Robin Williams's youngest child in the recent hit Mrs. Doubt-fire. According to a source close to Wilson, the young actress will be receiving somewhere between $150,000 and $200,000 for the role.

BIG AS IN BRANDO

At long last, Marlon Brando has finished writing his autobiography and turned it in at 600 manuscript pages. Tentatively titled Brando, it will be published by Random House in the fall.

The 69-year-old actor, who reportedly was paid close to $6 million for the book, began work alone in 1991 but made little headway, eventually prompting his publisher to enlist the aid of a cowriter, Robert Lindsey author of the 1979 spy thriller The Falcon and the Snowman.

Random House president and publisher Harold Evans describes Brando's manuscript as "unsparing and insightful about all aspects of his life and career." Evans, though, declines to give any details.

A VERY CLOSE NEIGHBOR
Chelsea Noble has been signed by ABC to costar as the "very attractive female neighbor" in a sitcom starring her husband, kirk Cameron, as a midwestern architect who's raising three younger siblings. When we first reported details of Cameron's still-untitled new series (PEOPLE, Jan. 24), his rep said that the actor's participation was in no way predicated on Noble's getting the part. And, Cameron's rep insists, "other actresses auditioned. Chelsea had to win the role."

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