Valerie Bertinelli biography
In 1975, Valerie Bertinelli started her run on the TV sitcom One Day at a Time, and during her 9 years on the show, she grew from a chubby, awkward teenager to a popular sex symbol. She has since appeared in several feature films and TV miniseries, married and divorced rocker Eddie Van Halen, become the spokesperson for the Jenny Craig weight-loss program and written three autobiographies. In 2010, she returned televison sitcoms, starring in the hit show Hot in Cleveland.
Actress Valerie Anne Bertinelli was born April 23, 1960, in Wilmington, Delaware, to Nancy and Andy Bertinelli, a General Motors executive.
Raised in a Catholic household with one older and two younger brothers, the family traveled to so many cities that she called herself a "GM brat." In her early teens, her father was transferred to the GM assembly plant in Van Nuys, California.
After doing a commercial for J.C. Penney, Bertinelli got the acting bug and enrolled at the Tami Lynn School of Artists. In 1974, she made a guest appearance on CBS drama Apple's Way.
Television and Film Career
In January 1975, Bertinelli got her big break when she was called to appear in the television situation comedy One Day At a Time, produced by Norman Lear. Bertinelli played Barbara Jean Cooper, one of two daughters of Ann Romano, a recently divorced woman played by Bonnie Franklin. During her nine years on the show, Valerie grew from a chubby, awkward teenager to a television sex symbol.
Bertinelli also starred in two other short-lived situation comedies, Sydney (1990) and Café Americain (1993). She also joined the cast of Touched By An Angel in 2001 for the show's final two seasons.
Bertinelli has alos appeared in feature films such as C.H.O.M.P.S. (1979), Ordinary Heroes (1986) and Number One with a Bullet (1987). Bertinelli was also the protagonist in the TV miniseries I'll Take Manhattan (1987), based on a novel by Judith Krantz. In 1981, she formed her own film company producing and starring in such films as Shattered Vows (1984) and Silent Witness (1985).
In 2010, Bertinelli returned to television sitcoms, starring in the hit show Hot in Cleveland with fellow TV veterans Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White. Bertinelli's character Melanie Moretti is a divorced writer and mother of two college-age children who, along with her 40-something friends played by Leeves and Malick, decide to relocate from Los Angeles to Cleveland where they're not judged by Hollywood standards and still considered "hot."
On August 22, 2012, Bertinelli received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Marriage to Eddie Van Halen
After dating actor Scott Colomby and director/producer Steven Spielberg, Bertinelli married rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen in 1981. They had one son, Wolfgang, who was born in 1991, before they separated in 2001 and divorced in 2007.
In 2008, while promoting her autobiography Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound At a Time, Bertinelli confessed that she and Van Halen had both cheated during their marriage.
She has been with financial planner Tom Vitale since 2004.
Bertinelli also admitted to struggling with a cocaine addiction. "I got to the point where whenever I heard the birds chirp, I'd be like, 'Oh, God, no,'" she recalled. "It took me years after stopping the cocaine before I was able to enjoy a sunrise and enjoy the sound of birds."
Bertinelli had also slowly gained weight over the years, but lost a total of 40 pounds as of January 2008. She became a spokesperson for the Jenny Craig weight-loss program. In 2008 she released the autobiography, Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound At A Time, which discusses her struggles with weight loss. In 2009, she wrote a follow-up book called Finding It: And Satisfying My Hunger for Life without Opening the Fridge.
In 2012, Bertinelli published One Dish at a Time, a collection of dishes celebrating her Italian heritage.