Condolences to The Weinstein Company co-chairmen Harvey and Bob Weinstein on the passing of their mother, Miriam, who died Wednesday at age 90 in Connecticut. Parents of moguls don’t usually merit editorial treatment. But Mrs. Weinstein was indelibly intertwined with her sons’ film empire, since she and her late diamond-cutter husband Max were the inspiration for their first film venture, Miramax. She also cultivated their appetite for the art house fare that defined the early days of Miramax. The siblings founded Miramax in 1979, and had to leave the namesake behind when they exited Disney in 1993. Disney sold the name, and the prestige library titles, to a higher bid from Filmyards Holdings, a consortium of Colony Capital, Tutor-Saliba Corporation, and Qatar Investment Authority. Losing the Miramax name was a source of frustration for her, and she wasn’t shy about letting the new owners know it.
In the early days of Miramax, she was an active voice in her sons’ first offices on 56th St, where she would bring Jewish baked goods for staff and lamented the success that swelled the ranks from 40 to 100 at one time and caused her to step up the size of her Challah bread and Rugelach offerings. She was also responsible for hiring as messenger the future superagent Robert Newman, now a partner at WME, and had a relationship with Brad Grey, the Paramount Pictures CEO who with Newman were the first two hires.
Aside from Harvey and Bob Weinstein, Miriam is survived by her nine grandchildren Sara, Nicole, Remy, Emma, Ruthie, Jake, Lucy, India and Dash; and her great grandchildren Nathaniel, Joshua and James.