In 1975, Valerie Bertinelli started her run on the TV sitcom One Day at a Time, and during her nine 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 a spokesperson for the Jenny Craig weight-loss program and written three books. In 2010, she rediscovered sitcom success with a starring role on 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 caught the acting bug and enrolled at the Tami Lynn School of Artists. In 1974, she made a guest appearance on the CBS drama Apple's Way.
Television and Film Career
In January 1975, Bertinelli got her big break when she joined the cast of the sitcom 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 went on to appear in such feature films as C.H.O.M.P.S. (1979), Ordinary Heroes (1986) and Number One with a Bullet (1987). She was also the protagonist of the TV miniseries I'll Take Manhattan (1987), based on a novel by Judith Krantz. After forming her own film company in 1981, Bertinelli produced and starred in the TV movies Shattered Vows (1984) and Silent Witness (1985).
The actress also headlined two other short-lived situation comedies, Sydney (1990) and Café Americain (1993). She later joined the cast of Touched By An Angel in 2001 for the show's final two seasons.
In 2010, Bertinelli rediscovered sitcom success with a starring role on Hot in Cleveland, alongside fellow TV veterans Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White. Bertinelli played Melanie Moretti, a divorced writer and mother of two college-age children who moves with her friends from Los Angeles to Cleveland, where they no longer have to worry about Hollywood standards of beauty. The show ran for six seasons before concluding in June 2015.
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, before the couple 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 both she and Van Halen had cheated during their marriage. She began dating financial planner Tom Vitale in 2004, and they married in 2011.
Bertinelli has 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, who slowly gained weight over the years, became a spokesperson for the Jenny Craig weight-loss program in 2007 and shed more than 40 pounds. She detailed her struggles with the scale in her 2008 autobiography, and soon penned a follow-up book, Finding It: And Satisfying My Hunger for Life without Opening the Fridge. In 2009, the 48-year-old actress famously graced the cover of People magazine in a bikini.
In 2012, Bertinelli published her third book, One Dish at a Time, a collection of dishes celebrating her Italian heritage. That year, she was also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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