Getty Images |
Source: Getty Images |

Valerie Bertinelli ‘Shunned the Spotlight in Favor’ of Her Only Son & Was a Doting Mom to Her 4 Stepkids

Olawale Ogunjimi
Feb 13, 2022
06:20 A.M.
Share this pen

Valerie Bertinelli is a remarkable woman with many titles earned from years of hard work, research, and passion. Admirably, the actress is also a doting mother to her stepkids, and she shunned the spotlight to be available for her only son.


Valerie Bertinelli is an actress, author, cook, and doting mother to her only child, Wolfgang Van Halen. In 2020, after being holed up in her Los Angeles home, thanks to the pandemic, Bertinelli had a touching reunion with her son, who she hadn't seen for a long time. 

While talking about the reunion on Today, the proud mother said Wolfgang left his home where he was quarantined with his girlfriend to come to visit her.

Valerie Bertinelli at Build Studio on August 21, 2019 [left], A picture of Valerie Bertinelli holding her young son, Wolfgang Van Halen [right] | Photo: Getty Images


According to Bertinelli, her son had borrowed her car to pick up his girlfriend in Utah. After the couple spent time together quarantining, they drove down to see Bertinelli, who had longed to see and hug her son. 


The 61-year-old actress has been married more than once. Her first husband was Eddie Van Halen, a musician, and the couple welcomed their only child Wolfgang in 1991.

At the time, she was already a known face in the movie industry, and the on-screen diva was passionate about her craft; it was her true love before childbirth.


Eddie Van Halen of the rock group Van Halen stands with his wife Valerie Bertinelli February 18, 1995 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

Once she had her baby, Bertinelli gave up her acting career to fend for her kid. The mother of one did not regret her decision and testified to loving motherhood in her book "Losing It." In her words:


"Of all the roles I have taken, none has been more satisfying than motherhood. I shunned the spotlight in favor of a normal life, driving carpools, volunteering in my son's classroom, [and] making dinner."

While Bertinelli was flawless at motherhood, she was a miserable wife with Eddie. Her husband was a party addict, and he kept abusing drugs despite his oral cancer diagnosis in 2001.


The actress remained in the marriage for twenty years. Finally, after a six-year separation, she decided to end things in 2007, hoping to give Wolfgang a better picture of a family. However, her son already believed theirs was a perfect home.

During an interview about the divorce, the mother revealed that Wolfgang saw their marriage and home as flawless. When it all came crashing, he felt blindsided.

Bertinelli explained that despite the hurt and unhappiness in the marriage, they hid the true nature of the relationship, all to protect their son. But in the end, it failed.


The couple walked away to different paths; Bertinelli expanded her career, and Eddie continued his lifestyle. The musician died of cancer in 2020.


Bertinelli did not think she would find love again as a single parent, but it happened. Shortly after the divorce, she began dating Financial Planner Tom Vitale, who had four kids.

The couple married in 2011, and the actress became a stepmother to Vitale's kids, two boys and two girls. The mother of one admitted that welcoming her new role as stepmother felt "very different," but she braced herself and became the best stepmother.


Valerie Bertinelli and husband Tom Vitale attend the 2012 Los Angeles Women's Expo on October 27, 2012 | Photo: Getty Images

According to the star, it all happened because she decided to become a great friend to the kids, giving them timeouts, being a confidant, and loving them dearly.


Wolfgang did not feel left out once his mother showed attention to the other kids. He acted like a big brother and established a closer bond with his step-siblings. They all spend quality time in her home often.

Wolfgang Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles on May 23, 1998. | Photo: Getty Images



Over the years, the couple has managed a blended family with adult kids who now have their children. However, Bertinelli and Vitale's relationship seems to be heading for the rocks.

Last year, Bertinelli filed for legal separation, citing "irreconcilable differences," at the Los Angeles Superior Court. The documents also stated a premarital agreement the couple will have to observe.

Valerie Bertinelli & son Wolfgang at the Sundance in 2001 | Photo: Getty Images



The cook once revealed how intriguing being a mother can be and how much she enjoys it. Despite welcoming Wolfgang more than thirty years ago, Bertinelli continues to dote on her son, and the pair have remained inseparable.

She called herself a "proud mama" in an Instagram post while celebrating Wolfgang's appearance on the "Jimmy Kimmel Show." The mother of one shared a throwback snap where she held baby Wolfgang and quipped:

"I'm such a proud mama! This little guy is going to be on Jimmy Kimmel tonight with his band @mammothwvh ! Tune-In TONIGHT on ABC 11:35 PM EDT @jimmykimmel @jimmykimmellive."


The actress has been open about her parenting journey, and when talking in an interview with Motherhood Later about the challenges of being a parent at an older age, she said:

"I had Wolfie when I was 30, and I think there's pros and cons to both... I'm really looking forward to having grandchildren."

Valerie Bertinelli visits "Extra" at their New York studios at H&M in Times Square on November 4, 2015 | Photo: Getty Images


Bertinelli may be in a rush to see her only son's offspring, but she is also in awe of the connection they have built over the years. 

She admitted that Wolfgang outgrew verbally declaring his love for her, but he respects her opinions as an adult and often calls to share his thoughts and, sometimes, rants.

Valerie Bertinelli and son Wolfgang Van Halen at the Premiere of "Saved!" in Los Angeles | Photo: Getty Images


Although mother and son do not talk regularly, as Bertinelli promised to stay out of his business and trust him to make the right decisions, they are still very close. Whenever they reconnect, it is almost like they never stopped talking.


Wolfgang inherited his mother's acting genes. He is an actor and composer noted for "Rock Legends," "Mammoth WVH: Distance," and "Van Halen: Tattoo."

Wolfgang Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli participate in the Hollywood Walk Of Fame Star ceremony on August 22, 2012 | Photo: Getty Images


The actor is also a performer who is doing remarkably well with his Grammy nominee creation, "Mammoth WVH." Wolfgang proves to be his father's son by consolidating the deceased star's legacy and acting as the former musician on stage.

While speaking about his experience as a band member, he mentioned that some of his moves were like his dad's, and he has no control over them.

Eddie Van Halen and Wolfgang Van Halen perform during "A Different Kind of Truth" tour at Madison Square Garden on February 28, 2012 | Photo: Getty Images

Bertinelli's mini-me is in a good place career-wise and has established a healthy atmosphere by keeping in touch with friends and maintaining a healthy relationship with his family.