Leah Adler, Steven Spielberg’s Mother, Dies at 97

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The famous director’s mother passed away in Los Angeles, California, according to a spokesperson on behalf of Spielberg’s company, Amblin Entertainment to PEOPLE

Her passing had first been reported by entertainment magazine The Hollywood Reporter.

Lea Adler, famous for having her signature cropped blonde hairstyle and large personality, Famous for her Peter Pan-style cropped blonde hair and big personality, had been an artist, restaurateur, musician, and a joyfully self-admitted kook.

“I’m certifiable, dolly,” Adler had once said to PEOPLE. “If I weren’t so famous, they’d put me away.”

Adler had a particularly close relationship to her son Spielberg, and he has often accredited her with his artistic talents.

Leah’s History

Her mother had been a linguist, her father a classical guitarist, leaving Adller with a deep appreciation of art and thought.

She remarkably learned the piano at only five years old, later studying at Cincinnati’s Music Conservatory.

She went on to get her diploma from the University of Cincinnati in the subject of Home Economics.

She had gotten married to Spielberg’s father, Arnold Meyer Spielberg, an electrical engineer, back in February of 1945.

Together they had four loving children, Steven, Sue, Nancy, and Anne.

The family then moved together to Haddonfield, NJ, where they lived for seven years before heading back to Arizona in 1957.

Parenting and Relationship With Her Children

“Mom kind of wrote her own book.” Spielberg once said to PEOPLE of Adler’s parenting style. When he had used to fight with his siblings as children, Adler would first listen to both sides, then shrug and tell the kids to continue arguing.

“We’d be so stunned that we’d make peace with one another,” he remembered.

When he lived near his mom in LA as adults, Spielberg said, “I’m on a personal crusade to spoil my mother.”

For one of her birthdays, he occupied Beverly Hills’ Neiman Marcus location during closing hours and let her mother choose anything in the store she wanted.

He also offered to pay doctors for her cosmetic surgery if she desired, to which she replied: “‘Steve, listen, honey, we’re not going to fix my face, we’re going to decorate it.”

Leah Adler passed peacefully at the age of 97.