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Who is Nancy Spielberg? ‘The Fabelmans’ director Steven’s sister details 'difficult' moments with family

'We were on the train and Mom said, 'I'm in love with Bernie,'' Nancy recalled, adding that she was 'furious'
Nancy Spielberg detailed her painful life experiences with her family amid 'The Fabelmans' premiere (Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Nancy Spielberg detailed her painful life experiences with her family amid 'The Fabelmans' premiere (Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

RIVERDALE, NEWYORK: Nancy Spielberg's eyes welled up with tears as she watched her brother Steven Spielberg's newest film 'The Fabelmans, which opens this weekend in the UK. The lights in the theater were low as Nancy Spielberg watched the emotional film that narrated her family's life.

Nancy's cherished parents, Leah and Arnold, had both died by the time the movie was made, but they were remembered lovingly as their lives were reenacted on screen. The brooches that adorned their mother's collar and father's attire were both painstakingly replicated. In addition to this, they shed light on the tragic end of their parents' marriage, which was sparked by their mother's affair with their father's closest friend.


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Who is Nancy Spielberg? 

Nancy Spielberg is an acclaimed writer and producer. In 2014, she directed the documentary film 'Above and Beyond', which she is currently adapting into a narrative feature picture in collaboration. In addition to co-executive producing 'On The Map' (2016) with director Dani Menkin, Spielberg is also executive producing Roberta Grossman's 'Who Will Write Our History' (2017). She was an advisor on the 'Chernobyl Heart' film that won an Academy Award.

Nancy spent much of her childhood in Hollywood, helping her brother Steven with his early films. She studied film at Sarah Lawrence College and The New School in New York after relocating from Arizona State and UCLA.

The Spielbergs and Bernie

While talking to Daily Mail, Nancy thoroughly recalled her childhood. While talking about her sisters, Nancy said, "People ask if I'm embarrassed for all this to be exposed and my brother's first concern was certainly, How are the girls going to take this?" 

"Steve wouldn't have gone ahead if we weren't comfortable. We're the kind of family that's open, and I don't think it casts any dark shadow. In a way, I think it honors our parents. A lot of people have similarly difficult stories. I've had so many people come up to me to tell me about their own parents' divorces and that they found watching the film cathartic," Nancy stated.

Nancy Spielberg, the youngest of the Spielberg children, says that the separation from her parents, Arnold and Leah, was the most difficult experience of her life. On the trip back to Arizona, Nancy found out that Bernie, a family acquaintance they had known for years, was the real reason for their parent's separation. "We were on the train and Mom said, 'I'm in love with Bernie," Nancy recalled, adding, "I was furious. I walked to the other end of the train where there was a dining car and stayed there for hours. I just stared out the window. I understood that there was going to be a switch in sleeping arrangements."

Spielberg also shed some light on their relationship with Bernie and how they loved him. Nancy further revealed, "When we girls moved back with Mom, they started to date. It was old-fashioned dating where they would go sit in the car outside together and smooch. To say goodnight, my sister Sue and I would walk up to the car and clear our throats so we could break up the embrace. As soon as they got together, they were madly in love and stayed that way."

Leah eventually married Bernie, and they were together for 28 years until his death in 1995. Her father Arnold remarried for a short time, after which, in 1997, he married his third wife, Bernice Colner, until her death in 2016. "After he died, my mom, Dad, and my stepmother Berniece started to hang out together. They'd go to concerts, the three of them, until my stepmother passed away," Nancy added.

To top it all off, she said, "Then Mom and Dad got back together," following the passing of their respective spouses. She recalls a family journey in 2016 when her parents, Nancy, her sisters, and their brother Steven traveled by the old family residence in Arizona, setting the mood for a happier life later. Their mother died in the year 2019 at the age of 98, and their father died in the year 2020, at the age of 103.

Before their death, both parents encouraged their children to tell the unusual story. "Steven didn't want to do it while our parents were alive. Dad was hurt by it — why would he want to rub his nose in that? But now's the right time." she concluded.