Leah Adler, who was Steven Spielberg’s mother but may have been better known as the owner of the kosher restaurant The Milky Way in Los Angeles’ Pico-Robertson district, has died. Variety reports that Adler died Tuesday at her home in Los Angeles, surrounded by her children. She was 97.
Eater L.A. reports: “For many years, The Milky Way restaurant was synonymous with Adler, owing in part to her celebrity son director Steven Spielberg. But Adler herself was a near-constant presence at the quiet neighborhood eatery, and could often be found dancing among the tables during service.”
Adler reportedly kept up her daily visits to the restaurant until she began cutting back last year, after turning 96. She was also an accomplished pianist and owned an art gallery in Phoenix before relocating to California.
“Spielberg mentioned his mother in his acceptance speech for winning the Academy Award for Best Director in 1994 for ‘Schindler’s List,’ calling her ‘my lucky charm,'” Variety notes.
Since news of her death, the restaurant’s Facebook page has been flooded with well-wishes and photos of Adler greeting customers over the years.