Rockin' Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen Throwback Photos

The actress writes about her relationship with the late rocker in her new book, Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today

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Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Berlinelli
Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli. Ann Clifford/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection via Shutterstock

After meeting in 1980, 21-year-old TV darling Valerie Bertinelli wed 26-year-old rocker Eddie Van Halen in 1981. They were married for more than 20 years and had one child, son Wolfgang, before separating in 2001 and geting divorced in 2007.

The two were on good terms when Van Halen died in 2020; before that, they'd even attended each other's second weddings.

"I loved Ed more than I know how to explain," Bertinelli told PEOPLE in January 2022, while discussing her new book, Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today. "I loved his soul."

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Valerie Bertinell
Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen. Valerie Bertinell/instagram

In the book, Bertinelli — here with Van Halen in 1980 — wrote, "We were portrayed as a mismatch. The bad boy rock star and America's sweetheart but privately, Ed wasn't the person people thought he was and neither was I."

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Valerie Bertinell
Eddie Van Halen, Valerie Bertinelli. Valerie Bertinell/instagram

Though their love was strong, the pair's marriage was tumultuous at times, Bertinelli shared with PEOPLE. "I hated the drugs and the alcohol but I never hated him. I saw his pain."

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Valerie Bertinell
Valerie Bertinelli, Eddie Van Halen. Valerie Bertinell/instagram

"I can't explain the feelings Ed and I had for each other," Bertinelli told PEOPLE in 2022. "Who really knows had he not died. I doubt it. I loved him more than I know how to explain and there's nothing sexual about it. It was more than that. And Ed and I understood that."

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Valerie Bertinell
Eddie Van Halen, Valerie Bertinelli. Valerie Bertinell/instagram

When Van Halen died in October 2020, Bertinelli said her life "changed forever" the day she met him.

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eddie-van-halen-valerie-bertinelli
Ron Galella/WireImage

"We had some very difficult, very challenging times but we had some beautiful times too," Bertinelli recalled of the pair's time together in an Instagram live following the rocker's death.

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Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli. The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty

"He wants me to know he messed up [during our marriage]," Bertinelli wrote in her book of a 2019 conversation the pair had. "I contributed to our troubles too and I am also sorry."

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Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen
Valerie Bertinelli/ instagram

Ten years after marrying, the couple welcomed son Wolfgang in 1991.

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Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen
Valerie Bertinelli/ instagram

"You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang," Bertinelli wrote in 2020 while remembering her late ex.

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Valerie Bertinell
Valerie Bertinelli, Eddie Van Halen and son Wolfgang on Bertinelli's Instagram story. Valerie Bertinell/instagram

After Van Halen's death, Bertinelli shared a handful of throwbacks, including this shot of the young family in N.Y.C.'s Central Park.

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Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen
Valerie Bertinelli/ instagram

Wolfgang was already following in his dad's footsteps years before the rock icon's death, performing with his own band. "Music is a really therapeutic thing," Wolfgang told PEOPLE in 2021. "And being able to focus on that and just paying tribute to my dad and our relationship was a really helpful thing for me to grieve in that way."

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Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen
Valerie Bertinelli/ instagram

"I'm most proud of his kindness and thoughtfulness," Bertinelli told PEOPLE of the couple's son in 2021. "I think we both like to find humor in the absurd. This world is a seriously crazy place and it's easier to get through it by finding it funny and absurd. Sometimes laughing is better than crying."

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Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen
Valerie Bertinelli/ instagram

"People are very quick to remind me that I look like both my parents, which I have to tell them, it's like, 'Wow, science. Who'd have guessed it?' " Wolfgang quipped in 2021. "But yeah, I'm certainly a combination of both my parents. That's for sure."

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wolf van halen eddie van halen and valerie bertinelli
Wolf Van Halen/Instagram

"My mom did a really good job at grounding me in my childhood," Wolfgang told PEOPLE in 2021. "It felt completely normal. It wasn't lavish or insane. I think she did a really good job of balancing that fame aspect of both of my parents' lives and gave me a really great, normal childhood."

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Valerie Bertinelli
Eddie Van Halen, Valerie Bertinelli. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

"'I love you' are the last words Ed says to Wolfie and me," Bertinelli wrote in her book of Van Halen's death, "and they are the last words we say to him before he stops breathing."

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