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Valerie Anne Bertinelli was born on April 23, 1960, in Wilmington, Delaware. Her father is Andrew Bertinelli, a man of Italian descent who worked as an executive at General Motors. Her mother is Nancy Bertinelli and is of English descent. Bertinelli was raised in a Roman Catholic household with her four siblings. Her older brother Mark died at only 17 months of age. She was left with one older brother and two younger brothers. She was in her teenage years when her father was transferred to a GM Assembly plant in Van Nuys, California which is the region she grew up in. The Bertinelli children traveled so frequently causing her to often refer to herself as the "GM Brat". Bertinelli attended Tami Lynn School of Artists where she studied acting.
Valerie Anne Bertinelli developed an interest in acting at a very young age and after doing only one commercial for J.C. Penny in the 1970's she was hooked. From there she continued her acting career by performing a guest appearance role in the CBS drama "Apple's Way". The turning point of her career was when she took the role of Barbara Cooper Royer in the sitcom "One Day at a Time" in 1975. On the sitcom, Bertinelli played the oldest of two daughters of a recently divorced character named Ann Romano played by Bonnie Franklin. During the show, Bertinelli grew and matured over a span of nine years.
During her time on the show, she went from an awkward chubby teen to a television sex symbol. Bertinelli's role in "One Day at a Time" earned her a lot of fame and she won two Golden Globe awards for Best Supporting Actress in a TV series in both 1981 and 1982 before the show was eventually canceled in 1984. After the show ended, Bertinelli went on to star in several films including "C.H.O.M.P.S." in 1979, "Ordinary Heroes" in 1986, and "Number One with a Bullet" in 1987. She formed her own film company in 1981 and went on to star and produce two made for television films. The first film was "Shattered Vows" in 1984 and the second film was "Silent Witness" in 1985.
Bertinelli later headlined two other comedies that were short-lived. The first was "Sydney" in 1990 and the second was "Café Americain" in 1993. She went on to star as Gloria in the television drama "Touched by an Angel" which would last for 2 seasons from 2001 to 2003. After a small break from acting, she rediscovered some sitcom success in 2010 when she starred in "Hot in Cleveland" as Melanie Moretti. On the show, Bertinelli played a divorced mother of two college-aged children who was a writer that moved to Cleveland from Los Angeles with her friends. The show also starred Betty White, Jane Leeves, and Wendie Malick and ran for six seasons before concluding in 2015.
Over the years, she slowly started gaining a lot of weight, so she decided to work out to help her lose the extra pounds. She was able to reduce her weight by a stunning 50 pounds. In doing so she caught the attention of Jenny Craig and in 2007 she became a spokesperson for their popular weight-loss program. She would go on to explain the details in her autobiography, "Finding It: And Satisfying My Hunger for Life without Opening the Fridge" in 2009. That same year she posed in a bikini for the cover of "People" magazine at the age of 48. In 2012 she published her third book titled "One Dish at a Time" which celebrates her Italian heritage and is a collection of Italian dishes.
She has also appeared on the Food Network in the show "Valerie's Home Cooking". In the show, she shared the secrets of her family recipes with the show's viewers. She has published approximately 265 recipes as of 2017 on the Food Network’s website.
Bertinelli has dated celebrities like Scott Colomby and director Steven Spielberg. She has married twice in her life.
Her first marriage was to Eddie Van Halen, the lead guitarist, and songwriter for the popular rock band "Van Halen". Bertinelli and Van Halen got married on April 11, 1981. After ten years of marriage, Bertinelli gave birth to their first child, a boy, on March 16th, 1991. The couple named their son Wolfgang Van Halen. Ten years after the birth of their son, their marriage would end start to crumble. At first, they only separated in 2001, but she finally divorced Eddie Van Halen on December 20th, 2007. She attributed the main reasons for the divorce to Van Halen's drug and smoking habits. Van Halen said he could not quit cocaine or smoking cigarettes even though he had one-third of his tongue removed due to treatments for tongue cancer.
On February 25, 2008, Bertinelli wrote her first book which was titled "Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time" thrusting her onto the list of bestsellers. This book revealed some secrets about why her marriage to Van Halen ended. She also admitted to struggling with cocaine herself saying, "I got to the point where whenever I heard the birds chirp, I’d be like. Oh. God, no."
After divorcing Van Halen, she started dating Tom Vitale in 2004. Vitale was her financial planner and friend for years. Eventually, the pair announced their engagement in May of 2010. One month later, Bertinelli ran in the Boston Marathon to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She finished the marathon with a completion time of 5:14:37. On January 1, 2011, Bertinelli married Tom Vitale. She is also known for her philanthropic activities and the many charities she supports which include the American Heart Association and Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
Bertinelli's net worth is estimated to be around $20 million USD.
In March 2003, the media falsely reported that Bertinelli had brain cancer and she had only two to three months left to live. Her doctors later clarified that it was only located in the lining of the brain.
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