Valerie Bertinelli has been one of our most beloved stars since she lit up the small screen on the classic sitcom One Day at a Time, from 1975 to 1984. In 1981, Valerie Bertinelli famously married rockstar Eddie Van Halen, and they received major media attention for being the quintessential actress/rocker couple. Valerie and Eddie had a good run, remaining married for over 20 years, and fans were devastated at news of their split in 2007.
But the exes remained friends, and in 2020, when Eddie passed away at 65, Valerie shared a moving tribute on Instagram, writing, “40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you. You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang. Through all your challenging treatments for lung cancer, you kept your gorgeous spirit and that impish grin. I’m so grateful Wolfie and I were able to hold you in your last moments. I will see you in our next life my love.”
Wolfgang, who followed in his dad’s footsteps as a musician and played bass with band, Van Halen, is now 32, and just tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend, software engineer and photographer Andraia Allsop, on October 15, 2023. At the ceremony, Wolfgang and his mom walked down the aisle to an emotional instrumental song his late dad wrote just for him.
Leading up to Wolfgang’s wedding, the 63-year-old actress, author and cooking show host was in a reflective mood, posting these sweet words about Eddie on Instagram: “As time slips by and grief ages, I find that missing him eases a bit and becomes a normal part of the day. But the grief and anger of knowing how much he is missing out on and how proud he would be of Wolfie, just gets bigger and louder and sharper with each passing milestone.”
Valerie had elaborated on the heartbreak of losing Eddie in a 2021 interview with FIRST for Women, and how love gives it a silver lining, saying, “The nice thing about grief — if it can be said — is that it just brings back all the wonderful memories you have of the person you are missing and you forget all the hard times — they don’t sit there in your heart anymore, the only thing that sits in your heart is the love that you felt for them. The love feels really good to just hold onto.”
In honor of Wolfgang’s wedding and Valerie’s recent tribute to her late ex husband and friend, we’re taking a look back at Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen’s relationship.
1980: Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen, love at first sight
Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen first met in 1980, when she was just 20 years old. At the time, she was staying at her parents’ home in Shreveport, Louisiana due to an actors strike. She had backstage passes to see Van Halen perform in the area. As she recalled in a podcast interview, “I saw what he looked like and I’m like, ‘OK, I’ll go, this guy’s cute’… So I went, and there we go. It was love at first sight, for sure.”
Bertinelli shared the photo above, taken the night they met, in her Instagram story — and you can certainly see the love!
1981: Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen get married
Van Halen and Bertinelli married eight months after they first met. Some people found it surprising that a rocker with a wild man image like Eddie would tie the knot with a wholesome sitcom star like Valerie, but they were smitten.
In a People interview following their wedding, Van Halen admitted, “I don’t think the other guys like [my getting married] too much. But I love it. Best thing I’ve ever done.” Bertinelli agreed, saying, “Even when I feel sad now, I’ve never felt more fulfilled. It’s crazy. I never thought anything could be this wonderful. Everything, good or bad, is… euphoric!”
Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen were one of the “it” couples of the ’80s, showing up to countless events in style. Husband and wife both rocked some seriously fabulous big ’80s hair.
1985: Original Van Halen lineup breaks up
Van Halen was one of the biggest rock bands of the ’80s, with wildly catchy songs like “Jump,” “Panama,” “Hot for Teacher” and many more. Eddie was known for his lightning-fast, party-starting guitar riffs, and was widely regarded as a true virtuoso of the instrument.
While Bertinelli and Van Halen had a happy marriage, when tensions arose within the band, people were quick to blame her for Van Halen’s breakup. The situation was not unlike people blaming Yoko Ono for the breakup of The Beatles. As Bertinelli said, “I have been accused of that, even though Yoko didn’t break up the Beatles, and I certainly didn’t break up Van Halen.”
Bertinelli recalled that her relationship with Van Halen’s lead singer, David Lee Roth, was often rocky, and claimed that he stopped allowing any of the band members’ girlfriends or wives on tour. In 1985, Roth left Van Halen, and was replaced by Sammy Hagar. Eddie stayed in the group, and was a core member until his death.
1991: Wolfgang Van Halen is born
In 1991, Valerie and Eddie welcomed their first and only child, Wolfgang. Ten years earlier, in 1981, she had told People, “I’m looking forward to having kids, and Edward wants to be a father very much… But we’re waiting a couple of years because he’s away on tour, and I still have a year left on the series. Both of us want to be home; we don’t want to be part-time parents.”
Valerie and Eddie were devoted parents who encouraged their son’s musical talents. Wolfgang has said, “My mom did a really good job at grounding me in my childhood… It felt completely normal. It wasn’t lavish or insane.”
Wolfgang and his mom remain close, and Valerie affectionately refers to him as “Wolfie.” She even goes by the Instagram handle @wolfiesmom, and frequently posts pictures with him. Wolfie says he inherited his sense of humor from his parents, and called them his “biggest champion[s].”
The year Wolfgang was born, Van Halen released an instrumental track, “316.” The song was meant as a tribute to the musician’s son — 3/16 was Wolfgang’s birthday, and in a sweet full-circle moment, this was the song he had played at his wedding to honor his late father.
2007: Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen split
Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen separated in 2001, following 20 years of marriage. She filed for divorce in 2005, and their split was finalized in 2007. Both of them later remarried: Van Halen married stuntwoman and actress Janie Liszewski in 2009, and Bertinelli married financial planner Tom Vitale in 2011. Bertinelli and Vitale divorced in 2021. Bertinelli and Van Halen remained friendly, and even attended each other’s second weddings.
2020: Saying goodbye to a true love
Valerie and Wolfie were by Eddie’s side when he died in 2020, and she recalled saying “Maybe next time. Maybe next time, we’ll get it right,” through tears as he passed on. While the iconic actress/rocker couple’s marriage didn’t last, their love proved eternal. As Bertinelli told People after his death, “I loved Ed more than I know how to explain… I loved his soul.” We’ll forever be moved by the bond this charismatic couple shared.
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