Valerie Bertinelli was born in Wilmington, Delaware. Her father was a General Motors executive. In her early teens, her father was transferred to a GM assembly plant in the Detroit, Michigan area and her family resided in Clarkston, Michigan where she attended Clarkston Middle School. A short time later, her father again was transferred to another GM automotive plant in Van Nuys, California. At this time, Ms. Bertinelli became neighborhood friends of the daughter of a TV producer and soon enrolled in the Tami Lynn School of Artists to study acting. Tami Lynn launched Valerie's career in the CBS hit TV series, One Day at a Time (1975). Tami Lynn was Valerie's Personal Manager from 1971 through 1979.
Ms. Bertinelli has starred in three feature films: C.H.O.M.P.S. (1979), Ordinary Heroes (1986), and Number One with a Bullet (1987). She was also the protagonist of the miniseries, I'll Take Manhattan (1987), based on a novel by Judith Krantz. She has appeared in made-for-TV movies almost annually since 1979. In 1981, she married rock guitarist Edward Van Halen. They had homes in the Hollywood Hills and Malibu and have a son, Wolfgang Van Halen. They separated in 2001, when Van Halen had tongue cancer. In 2005, Bertinelli filed for divorce for irreconcilable differences and, it was finalized two years later.