One Day at a Time
Golden Globe-winning actress Valerie Bertinelli, the ex-wife of Van Halen lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen, is famous for her role of Barbara Cooper (later Barbara Cooper Royer), the teenage daughter to Bonnie Franklin's lead character, Ann Romano Royer, on the long-running and popular CBS sitcom "One Day at a Time" (1975-1984).
Following her star-making role, Bertinelli, who ranked #29 in VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Kid Stars," starred as the title role of the rough-and-tumble L.A. Detective in the short-lived CBS sitcom, "Sydney" (1990) and played the lead role of Holly Aldrige, a young American woman living on her own in France, in the NBC sitcom "Cafe Americain" (1993-1994). From 2001 to 2003 (seasons 8 and 9), she joined the cast of the hit CBS drama "Touched by an Angel," playing Gloria, a new and inexperienced, but highly intelligent tech-geek angel.
Bertinelli has also starred in a string of made-for-television movies and miniseries, including "I'll Take Manhattan" (1987), "Pancho Barnes" (1988), "In a Child's Name" (1991), "A Case for Life" (1996), "Two Mothers for Zachary" (1996), and "Claire" (2007). She will next be seen alongside Joanna Levesque in an upcoming TV movie called "True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet."
The petite Italian descendant dated acclaimed film director/producer Steven Spielberg and actor Scott Colomby before marrying hard rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen in 1981. They have a son who was born in 1991, Wolfgang "Wolfie" William Van Halen, who now plays bass with Van Halen on the band's highly successful reunion tour with David Lee Roth. Valerie separated from her husband in October 2001 and their divorce was finalized in December 2007. Bertinelli later admitted her infidelity during her union with Eddie Van Halen.
"Yes, I did, four years into our marriage, cheat. And it was a shame and it was a guilt that I carried with me for a very long time and I don't like that, so I really wanted to get that out of me." Valerie Bertinelli
Bertinelli now lives with financial planner Tom Vitale, whom she met in 2004. The TV star, who had slowly gained weight over the years following her divorce, has lost a total of 40 lbs. as of January 2008 and is the new spokesperson for the Jenny Craig weight-loss system. In February 2008, she released her autobiography, "Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound At a Time."
"If you say you're fat, all of a sudden people like you!" Valerie Bertinelli
Childhood and Family:
“I'm a good girl. I am, pretty much.” Valerie Bertinelli
The only daughter to Andrew Bertinelli, a General Motors executive who later worked as a materials supervisor on the tunnel that connects England and France, and Nancy Bertinelli, a homemaker, Valerie Anne Bertinelli was born on April 23, 1960, in Wilmington, Delaware. She is of Italian descent and was raised Catholic, alongside one older and two younger brothers.
The family traveled through many states across the country, including Oklahoma, Louisiana and Michigan and Valerie joked of being a "GM brat." By the time she was 11, the family eventually settled in the Van Nuys suburb of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley. She then studied acting at the Tami Lynn Academy of Artists and immediately received a commercial job. Valerie graduated from Granada Hills High School in 1978.
“I knew I was feeling something very different for this man. We were in Phoenix and we'd known each other a month. Ed had just won best rock guitarist in ‘Guitar Player’ magazine for the fourth time in a row.” Valerie Bertinelli
Valerie dated acclaimed film director/producer Steven Spielberg (born December 18, 1946) and actor Scott Colomby (born September 19, 1952) before marrying Van Halen lead guitarist Edward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen (born January 26, 1955) on April 11, 1981, eight months after their first meeting backstage at a concert. Valerie suffered a miscarriage in 1987 and gave birth to a son named Wolfgang "Wolfie" William Van Halen on March 16, 1991.
"Some marriages shouldn't be saved. When my son was born I wanted to give him a marriage that was intact. But, after many years, I realized that wasn't best for him. I wasn't sad when my marriage to Ed ended because our relationship had ended so long ago. I was sad that I couldn't give Wolfie the family I had promised him." Valerie Bertinelli
After twenty years of marriage, Valerie and Eddie’s divorce became final on December 20, 2007. They share custody of their son and Eddie sees him every day.
Valerie, who used to smoke until she discovered she had asthma, also has admitted to struggling with a cocaine addiction. She recalled, “I got to the point where whenever I heard the birds chirp, I’d be like, ‘Oh, God, no.’ It took me years after stopping the cocaine before I was able to enjoy a sunrise and enjoy the sound of birds.”
Valerie had slowly gained weight over the years but has lost a total of 40 pounds as of January 2008. She is the new spokesperson for the Jenny Craig weight-loss program.
"I think a lot of people think because I was getting the divorce, that was really the catalyst for gaining so much weight. [But] I had so many problems all through the years, ballooning and going down again. But I think really what my sorrow was that I wasn't giving my son the life I thought he deserved and I wasn't keeping the family intact. And I think I had a lot of grief about that and that was how I soothed myself." Valerie Bertinelli
Since 2004, Valerie has been with financial planner Tom Vitale, who has four children from a previous marriage. They moved in together in 2006.
Valerie has a home in Los Angeles and two production companies, Tuxedo Limited (after one of the stray cats she's always taking in) and Bertinelli, Inc. She owns a Corvette and an MG.
“I think I'm a much better person inside than I used to be.” Valerie Bertinelli
Touched By an Angel
Shortly after studying acting at the Tami Lynn Academy of Artists, Valerie Bertinelli landed a commercial job for the Texas-based store chain J.C. Penney at age 11. When she turned 14, Bertinelli made early TV appearances on the CBS drama series, "Apple's Way," in 1974.
The following year, the newcomer became an overnight star after snagging the role of Barbara Cooper, the younger teenage daughter to a divorced mother and a former child actress (played by Bonnie Franklin), on the long-running and popular CBS sitcom "One Day at a Time." She stayed on the show since its pilot on December 16, 1975, until its finale on May 28, 1984, and won two Golden Globe Awards in 1981 and 1982, both for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV. She was also nominated for a Young Artist Award in 1981 for Best Young Comedienne and a Golden Globe in 1983 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV.
“Looking back, I didn't realize how groundbreaking the show was when it first came out.” Valerie Bertinelli
Bertinelli and fellow cast members Bonnie Franklin, Mackenzie Phillips, and Pat Harrington would reunite in a 60-minute CBS retrospective special which aired on Tuesday February 22, 2005. They reunited once again on February 26, 2008, in part of a week-long segment titled "Together Again: TV's Greatest Casts Reunited."
During her nine-year stint in the show, Bertinelli played her first dramatic leading role on TV in the CBS hour-long special "The Secret of Charles Dickens" (1978) and then in The CBS TV movie “Young Love, First Love” (1979). She also portrayed the lead role in the Hanna-Barbera-produced family comedy feature film "C.H.O.M.P.S." (1979).
Bertinelli auditioned for a role in the Steven Spielberg-directed “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981) and briefly become involved with the director. She didn't win the role and subsequently starred in “The Promise of Love” (1980) and “The Princess and the Cabbie” (1981). She also played the lead role of a young nun in love with a priest in NBC’s movie-of-the-week, “Shattered Vows” (1984) and portrayed an addicted Nevada gambler in CBS’ “The Seduction of Gina” (1984), for which husband Eddie Van Halen contributed the music.
Following the demise of "One Day at a Time," Bertinelli struggled to venture into feature films. She co-starred in two small features, the Vietnam war veteran drama “Ordinary Heroes” (1986), in which she played the girlfriend to a blind soldier (played by Richard Dean Anderson), and the police corruption thriller “Number One With a Bullet” (1987), in which she portrayed the ex-wife of a hot-headed detective (played by Robert Carradine).
Bertinelli subsequently returned to television starring in the four-part CBS miniseries based on the Judith Krantz novel, "I'll Take Manhattan" (1987) and as the fiercely independent socialite in “Pancho Barnes” (1988).
Entering the new decade, Bertinelli played the title role of the rough-and-tumble detective in the short-lived CBS sitcom, "Sydney" (1990), which ran for 13 episodes and featured theme music by her husband Eddie Van Halen. And after giving birth to son Wolfgang, she went back to the small screen, portraying a woman fighting for custody of her nephew, in the Golden Globe-nominated TV miniseries adaptation of Peter Maas’ true story-based novel, “In a Child’s Name” (1991). She also narrated a book called “Princess” by Jean P. Sasson.
From 1993 to 1994, Bertinelli starred in the NBC sitcom "Cafe Americain," as Holly Aldrige, a young American woman living on her own in France. She then portrayed a lesbian struggling to retain custody of her child in the ABC TV-movie based on the true custody battle in Richmond, Virginia, "Two Mothers For Zachary" (1996; Vanessa Redgrave played her mother and Adam Rehmann played her son). She also played a pregnant pro-lifer in the ABC movie “A Case for Life” (1996), and portrayed an FBI investigator in the CBS miniseries based on Tami Hoag's novel, “Night Sins” (1997).
“I'm a full-time mom right now and a part-time actress.” Valerie Bertinelli
After taking a few years off to focus on her home life, Bertinelli returned to series TV in 2001 by joining the cast of the popular, long-running CBS drama "Touched By an Angel.”
Following the end of "Touched By an Angel" and her separation (and eventual divorce) from Eddie Van Hallen, Bertinelli played herself in the teen comedy film "Saved!" (2004), starring Jena Malone.
“When I got too heavy, he would say, ‘Honey, lose weight.’ Then when I got too thin, he said, ‘I don't like making love with you. You've got to gain some weight.’” Valerie Bertinelli
In May 2007, Bertinelli, who had slowly gained weight over the years, succeeded Kirstie Alley as the celebrity spokeswoman for the Jenny Craig weight loss system. She has lost a total of 40 pounds as of January 2008 and released her autobiography, "Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound At a Time," in February 2008.
"The public saw the surface changes, but I saw the personal changes no one else could see. I regained my life one pound at a time." Valerie Bertinelli
Bertinelli recently starred as the widowed mother of two in the made-for-television movie "Claire" (2007). She will next be seen alongside Joanna Levesque in an upcoming TV movie called "True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet."
“Professionally, I have no major goals. That's partly because I'm really flaky. I want things, but I don't go after them. I'd rather they be placed in my lap.” Valerie Bertinelli
TV Land: Lady You Love to Watch Fight for Her Life in a Movie of the Week, 2007
Golden Globe: Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV, "One Day at a Time," 1982
Golden Globe: Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV, "One Day at a Time," 1981