AKA Valerie Anne Bertinelli
Birthplace: Wilmington, DE
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: One Day at a Time
Valerie Bertinelli appeared in commercials at 14, and acted in one episode of Apple's Way with Ronny Cox. Months later, she got a phone call from a casting agent who -- based solely on her snapshot -- invited Bertinelli to audition for a new sitcom. For nine years she played Barbara Cooper, daughter of Bonnie Franklin on One Day at a Time. In the show's first season, Bertinelli was 15 and her character was written as a tomboy, but during the second season she blossomed into a lovely young woman, and the show's male demographic increased proportionally. Ratings peaked when Bertinelli's character was married in a very special 1982 episode.
While One Day at a Time was in production, Bertinelli's TV sister, Mackenzie Phillips, had recurring and well-publicized drug problems. Reportedly, Bertinelli's response was to stop speaking to Phillips for several years, except for scripted lines in character.
During and after One Day at a Time's long run, Bertinelli became familiar as the perpetually distraught star of "woman-in-peril" TV movies. In these roles through the 1980s and 90s, she played a young widow whose husband was killed in the Vietnam war; a woman with a serious gambling problem; a young nun in love with a priest; a woman who must decide whether to testify against her brother-in-law in a rape trial; a mother whose baby is kidnapped and sold; a mother charged with child neglect; a woman whose sister is murdered by her brother-in-law; a newlywed who descends into mental illness; a woman sued by her sister who wants a court to order her to have an abortion; and a lesbian whose mother sues for custody of her child, among numerous other melodramatic roles.
In 1990, she played a private investigator in an unfunny sitcom called Sydney, where the notion of a female private eye seemed to be the only joke. In a quickly cancelled 1993 series, Café Americain, she played an American divorcee who moved to Paris but spoke only a few words of French. She also played the angel Gloria for the final two seasons of Touched by an Angel with Roma Downey and Della Reese, and since 2010 she has starred in Hot in Cleveland with Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, and Betty White.
Her father was in middle management at General Motors, and later worked as a mid-level manager in the construction of the "chunnel" between England and France.
Father: Andrew Bertinelli (GM executive)
Mother: Nancy Bertinelli (homemaker)
Brother: Mark (d. 1960 poisoning)
Boyfriend: Scott Colomby (actor, b. 19-Sep-1952, dated late 1970s)
Boyfriend: Steven Spielberg (film director, dated in 1980s)
Husband: Eddie Van Halen (m. 11-Apr-1981, sep. 2002, div. 20-Dec-2007, one son)
Son: Wolfgang Van Halen (b. 16-Mar-1991)
Husband: Tom Vitale (businessman, together since 2004, m. 1-Jan-2011)
Democratic National Committee
Obama for America
Boston Marathon 2010 (5h, 14m, 37s)
Endorsement of Jenny Craig
Risk Factors: Asthma, Smoking, Cocaine
Hot in Cleveland Melanie Moretti (2010-)
Touched by an Angel Gloria (2001-03)
Cafe Americain Holly Aldridge (1993-94)
Sydney Sydney Kells (1990)
One Day at a Time Barbara Cooper (1975-84)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Saved (21-Jan-2004) · Herself
Finding John Christmas (30-Nov-2003)
Wilderness Love (8-Oct-2000) · Susannah Stanton
The Haunting of Helen Walker (3-Dec-1995)
In a Child's Name (17-Nov-1991)
I'll Take Manhattan (1-Mar-1987)
Number One with a Bullet (1987) · Teresa Berzak
Shattered Vows (29-Oct-1984)
C.H.O.M.P.S. (21-Dec-1979) · Casey Norton
Author of books:
Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time (2008)
Finding It: And Satisfying My Hunger for Life Without Opening the Fridge (2009)
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