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Steven Spielberg's mother dies aged 97

Steven Spielberg's mother Leah Adler died on Tuesday (21Feb17), surrounded by family at her home in Los Angeles.

Steven Spielberg's mother Leah Adler has died, aged 97.

Leah was surrounded by family when she died at her home in Los Angeles on Tuesday (21Feb17), a spokesperson for Spielberg's production company Amblin Partners told The Hollywood Reporter.

According to their statement, "Leah is best remembered for her deep, limitless love for the people around her."

She is survived by her four children; Steven, Anne, Sue and Nancy, as well as 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Her family has asked that following her passing, mourners should make a donation to their favourite charity in Leah's name, in lieu of flowers.

Steven was incredibly close to his mother, and often credited her for first forging his interest in the film industry and directing. He has gone on to become one of the world's most famous directors, with movies including Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Jurassic Park.

Leah's own interest in the arts came from being the child of a linguist mother and a classical guitarist father. She fuelled her love of music by learning the piano when she was just five years old, and went on to study at the Music Conservatory in Cincinnati, Ohio before attending the University of Cincinnati and graduating with a degree in Home Economics.

She married Steven's father, Arnold Meyer Spielberg, in February, 1945. The couple had four children, and began their life as a family in Cincinnati before moving to New Jersey for seven years, and then once again relocating to Arizona in 1957.

Speaking previously about his mother's parenting style, Steven told People: "Mom kind of wrote her own book." He recalled Leah listening to both sides of the story when he argued with his sisters, before shrugging and telling the brood to carry on fighting.

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

Leah and Arnold got a divorce and she went on to marry Bernie Adler, another electrical engineer, just a year later in 1967. They lived in Arizona for a while before eventually moving to Los Angeles, where they founded a kosher restaurant called The Milky Way. Bernie passed away in 1995.

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