July 10, 2002 12:00 PM

Rocker Eddie Van Halen and his wife of 21 years, former “One Day at a Time” actress Valerie Bertinelli, separated last October but have no plans to seek a divorce, Bertinelli’s publicist has told Reuters. The Dutch-born guitarist, 47, who disclosed a year ago that he was undergoing treatment for cancer, and Bertinelli, 42, have one child, Wolfgang, 11. “Because they’re the parents of a young son, they’ve requested that their family’s privacy be respected at this time,” Heidi Schaeffer, speaking for the Malibu couple, told the news service. She declined to give further details, other than to call the split amicable and to state that no third party was involved. On “One Day at a Time,” which ran from 1975 to 1984, Bertinelli played a daughter of a divorced woman (Bonnie Franklin). Since last year she has played the role of Gloria on CBS’s “Touched by an Angel.” As for Van Halen, only last May, PEOPLE.com reported, he took to his Web site to tell fans that he was on the mend from a bitter bout of tongue cancer. “I wanted to let you all know that I’ve just gotten a 100 percent clean bill of health — from head to toe,” he declared. “I wanted to share the good news with you immediately . . . so party on.” In April 2001, Van Halen, the founder of the hard-rock band that bears his name and a self-professed longtime smoker and reformed alcoholic, had announced on his Web site that he was being treated for an unspecified type of cancer. He also apologized for his longtime silence on the subject.

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