Steven Spiel­berg’s ‘lucky charm’ mother dies aged 97

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY TOM TUGEND LOS AN­GE­LES

LEAH ADLER, a well-known restau­ra­teur, for­mer con­cert pi­anist and pain­ter, died at her home in Los An­ge­les on Tues­day.

She was 97 years old. Most of Amer­ica and the world first heard her name when her son, Steven Spiel­berg, kissed her and de­scribed her as “my lucky charm” while ac­cept­ing an Acad­emy Award as di­rec­tor of the film Schindler’s List.

Al­though in­vari­ably linked to her fa­mous son, dur­ing the last four decades of her life she earned al­most equal renown as pro­pri­etor at the strictly kosher Milky Way restau­rant, pop­u­lar with Ortho­dox rab­bis, show­biz lu­mi­nar­ies and tourists.

Born on 12th Jan­uary, 1920 in Cincin­nati as Leah Pos­ner, she was raised dur­ing the 1920s and the sub­se­quent De­pres­sion. At five, she learned to play the pi­ano and stud­ied at her city’s music con­ser­va­tory. Shortly be­fore the US en­tered the war, she had a sin­gle date with Arnold Meyer Spiel­berg, cor­re­sponded with him while he served with the Army Air Corps in the Pa­cific, and mar­ried him af­ter his dis­charge in 1945. Over the next 10 years, the cou­ple had four chil­dren, son Steven and daugh­ters Anne, Sue and Nancy. “Leah and I had an open house in the sense that we gave all our chil­dren a lot of free­dom to do their own things and de­velop their imag­i­na­tions,” Arnold Spiel­berg re­called in a 2012 in­ter­view. Leah and Arnold di­vorced in 1965 and two years later she mar­ried Bernard Adler. Nancy Spiel­berg said her mother was “best re­mem­bered for her lim­it­less love for the peo­ple around her.” She is sur­vived by her four chil­dren, 11 grand­chil­dren and five great-grand­chil­dren.

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

Lov­ing: Adler

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