Valerie Bertinellli devotes decades of her life to entertaining audiences on hit television shows. The Touched by an Angel, One Day At A Time, and Hot in Cleveland. The star, devotes her fanbase, even her own show, Valerie’s Home Cooking, which is on the air for 12 seasons.
It will be impossible to call her career anything other than successful. Bertinelli gets through some serious hardships and life-upending changes over the years. Between becoming a mom, seeing two long-term relationships to their bitter ends, and losing a soulmate. All the while maintaining a demanding career, it makes you wonder if there is anything that Bertinelli can’t do.
In her recent memoir, Enough Already, Bertinelli revealed dozens of shocking and heartbreaking details regarding her turbulent life journey. Valerie is able to touch on the passing of her ex-husband, Eddie Van Halen, and how his death affects her. But that wasn’t the only death that has been hard for her to deal with. The recent passing of her former co-star Betty White was also difficult for her to come to terms with.
Join Facts Verse as we take a closer look at the life and the tragedy of Valerie Bertinelli. She’s a person who experiences tragedy throughout her life, but nevertheless, she continues to push on with confidence and class.
She Lost A Brother
Bertinelli is the third child of five born to Andrew Bertinelli, an executive at GM, and his homemaker wife, Nancy. She grows up in Wilmington, Delaware, and suddenly, Valerie enters the world, surrounds by pain and tragedy. Valerie’s mother is grieving her brother Mark who dies at 17 months old while she is pregnant with her. And that poor little child died in a pretty horrific way.
Her family visits a friend’s farm when he wanders off alone. S drinks poison out of a container that isn’t marked poison in it. With the toxic substance stored in a soda bottle, the unsuspecting child is no idea what he’s getting himself into. Sadly, rushing to the hospital, the effects of the poison on the poor little child, are irreversible, and he perishes.
Bertinelli didn’t learn about baby Mark’s tragic death until she was in her early teens. Her parent’s kept the senseless tragedy tucked away, locked inside of their hearts where it weighed them down like a heavy stone. It was simply too painful of a subject for them to discuss.
Years later after Valerie returned back to Delaware to pay her respects to her grandmother who had passed away. She was able to develop a new understanding of her parent’s painful loss. Bertinelli’s grandmother buries her close to little baby Mark’s grave. When he visited her brother’s burial place; she was holding her own son, Wolfie, who was also 17 months of age at the time. Coming face to face with the reality of her brother’s death in that manner made her realize the full extent of her mother’s grief.
Later that day, when she saw her parents, she developed an even greater appreciation for them, knowing what they had to go through. Since then, both of Valerie’s parents have died. Her father passed in 2016 and her mother died in 2019. Looking back on both of their lives, especially considering the tremendous amount of pain they went through, Bertinelli knows that they both did the best they could.
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Her Tumultuous Relationship With Eddie Van Halen
Bertinelli married Eddie Van Halen in 1981. They ended up staying together for twenty years before separating in 2001 and finalizing their divorce in 2007. Throughout their time together, they had one son, Wolfgang Van Halen.
The two meet when Valerie grants an exclusive backstage meeting with Eddie at one of his shows. Eddie and Valerie immediately had chemistry together despite both being quite nervous. After a brief, passionate courtship, they marry just a few months after meeting.
On the day of their wedding, Eddie is so drunk that Valerie holds back his hair so that he could vomit. Valerie also remembers that when they were filling out the pre-ceremony questionnaire forms that the priest had provided them, they each held vials of cocaine. Clearly, their marriage was going to be one wild ride.
And a wild ride it was, though unfortunately not in a good way. Their marriage proved to be a difficult one. While filming One Day at a Time, Bertinelli tried to keep up with Eddie’s rocker lifestyle but she simply couldn’t. Eventually, she had to give up partying, but Eddie continued to battle a pretty nasty coke addiction for years.
The couple’s problems aren’t limited to just drugs. They also struggled to connect with each other as both parties had many work obligations to keep up with. In time, they drifted apart – and whenever they were together, it seemed like all they ever did was fight.
Bertinelli decides to pull the plug on her marriage to Van Halen in 2001. She motivates by the desire to give her son Wolfgang a better vision of what it supposes to look like when two people love each other. She knew that what he was seeing with her and Eddie wasn’t anything close to healthy.
Valerie Bertinelli states in her memoir that another reason and tragedy for her deciding to divorce Eddie is how he refuses to quit smoking despite a diagnosed with oral cancer and having to have a third of his tongue removed in treatment.
She Remarried and Remained Friends With Eddie Until His Death
In 2010, Bertinielli announces that she engages a financial planner Tim Vitale. The two had met and struck up a relationship in 2004. They end up getting married in 2011 in Malibu, and Eddie shows up at the ceremony with his new wife, Janie Liszewski, whom he had married in 2009.
Even though they no longer are married to each other, Valerie and Eddie are close friends right up until his death. They continue to support each other in both the good times and the bad ones. Bertinelli regularly visited Eddie when he was in treatment and did her best to make sure that he was comfortable.
Eddie ended up losing his battle with cancer on October 6, 2020, at the age of 65. A few months later, Bertinelli gives an interview in which she reveals the peculiar way that she treats during her grieving process for her ex-husband.
Valerie Says That Was “Grief Shamed”
In her interview with ‘Today’, Bertinelli revealed that she was grief-stricken after learning of Eddie’s passing. She went on to discuss how she had been “grief shamed” for her reaction to his death.
She didn’t go into all of the details, but she made the case that Eddie had been such a major figure in life that she certainly should be allowed to miss him. They had a different kind of love that didn’t in any way detract from the love that they had for their respective spouses, Jane and Tom.
Following the rocker’s death, Valerie posted a heartfelt tribute to him on her Instagram. She expressed gratitude that he had given her ‘the one true light’ in her life, their son, Wolfgang, and said that her ‘life changed forever’ when she met him in 1980.
Valerie Separated From Tom Vitale In 2021
Right before Thanksgiving in 2021, Valerie filed for legal separation from her husband of ten years, Tom. According to leaked documents, the couple is separating due to ‘irreconcilable differences. While there isn’t much we know as of yet why the two are going their separate ways, it’s conceivable that when Bertinelli mentioned that she had been ‘grief shamed’ by someone, it just might have been Tom. After all, it can’t be easy to see your spouse spend so much of their time and energy thinking about their ex-husband. Maybe that was too much for Tom – perhaps he got jealous. We’ll likely learn more details about this ongoing situation as time goes on, so we’ll keep you posted in future videos.
She Deeply Misses Her Former Co-Star Betty White
It’s been a rough couple of years for Bertinelli. Between losing her ex-husband, separating from her second husband, and now losing her Hot in Cleveland co-star Betty White at the age of 99, it makes you wonder if Valerie Bertinelli can keep up with all of this adversity with her personal tragedy.
Bertinelli and White appeared on TV Land’s spiritual successor to The Golden Girls from 2010 to 2015. Valerie played Melanie, a recent divorcee who just relocated to Cleveland and leased the home of caretaker, Elia, played by White.
Following her death, Bertinelli tweeted that heaven must be ‘bright’ now. Shortly before her death, Valerie took part in an interview with People to discuss what would have been White’s 100th birthday. In that interview, she said that White had taught her about gratitude. She also said that she never met another human being that ‘glowed’ as brightly as she did.
While Valerie Bertinelli certainly has had to deal with her fair share of heartbreak and tragedy, all of that struggle has only made her a stronger person. She is truly inspirational and someone that we should all keep our eyes on. She might be in her early 60s, but her career is far from over. We can expect to see more of Bertinelli for years to come. Let’s just hope that eventually she’s able to find love that lasts. But even if she doesn’t find that in a partner, she’ll always have the love of her son, Wolfgang Van Halen, who is following in his father’s footsteps by pursuing a career in music as well.
Where you aware that Valerie Bertinelli had such a painful past? And did you know that she and Eddie Van Halen remained close friends right up until his death? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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