Valerie Bertinelli's Heartbreaking Tribute To Eddie Van Halen

On Oct. 6, 2020, Wolfgang Van Halen, son of the legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen, announced that his father and the co-founder of the rock band Van Halen, died at age 65. "I can't believe I'm having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning," the 29-year-old wrote on Instagram and Twitter. "He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift."

According to CNBC, the musician lost his long battle with throat cancer. The outlet noted that Eddie had part of his tongue surgically removed in 2000 and that his illness was likely caused by years of heavy smoking. TMZ also reported that Eddie passed away at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif., surrounded by his wife of 11 years, Janie Liszewski, son Wolfgang, ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli, and his brother and former drummer, Alex Van Halen

After the announcement of Eddie's death, fans were curious about every aspect of the icon's life, including his relationship with Bertinelli. According to CBS News, Eddie married the actress in 1981 after only knowing each other for eight months and the pair welcomed their only child, son Wolfgang, in 1991. Although the two separated in 2002 and eventually divorced in 2007, the former couple were still relatively close. Keep scrolling after the jump to read her heartfelt tribute to Eddie. 

Valerie Bertinelli wrote a touching tribute to former husband Eddie Van Halen

Although Eddie Van Halen's ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli was by his side when he passed away on Oct. 6, 2020, the Hot in Cleveland actress posted a touching tribute on Instagram alongside a photo of the former couple with a baby Wolfgang Van Halen. 

"[Forty] years ago my life changed forever when I met you. You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang," Bertinelli wrote. "Through all your challenging treatments for lung cancer, you kept your gorgeous spirit and that impish grin." She continued, "I'm so grateful Wolfie and I were able to hold you in your last moments. I will see you in our next life my love." The tribute came hours after son Wolfgang shared his own tribute.

Other industry greats also took to social media to share their memories of the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and how his talents influenced their own careers. "We are enormously saddened to hear about the untimely passing of Eddie Van Halen," Metallica tweeted. "We considered him an inspiration, an idol, and after spending a summer together on the road in '88, a friend." Country star Keith Urban added, "There are lots of great guitar players in the world, but very VERY few true innovators. Players who seem to have arrived from a far distant planet , and who bring a completely new color to the rainbow. Eddie Van Halen was this and so much more."

Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen had major chemistry

Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen's relationship moved quickly, but they had instant chemistry, per Country Living. Bertinelli had a crush on Eddie, after seeing his picture on her brother's copy of their album, Women and Children First. When the band came to play her hometown in Louisiana in 1980, she reportedly used her connections in town to get backstage, living a real 1980s dream.

Band manager Noel E. Monk wrote in his book Runnin' With The Devil that he thought the couple was "cute" together. "They were both clearly nervous and somewhat reticent. This struck me as a sign of genuine chemistry," Monk wrote (via Country Living). "After all, Valerie had spent most of her life in front of a camera or audience; she was completely comfortable with all manner of public interaction. And yet, here she was, stammering and blushing like a schoolgirl in the presence of the captain of the football team. And Edward? Here was a guy who went out on stage every night and performed, wizardlike, in front of thousands of adoring fans." 

Monk added that all of Eddie's rockstar facade melted away in front of Valerie. But that doesn't mean that their relationship was perfect.

Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli's marriage got off to a rocky start

Via Country Living, band manager Noel E. Monk wrote in his book Runnin' With The Devil that after supposedly asking Eddie Van Halen to take it easy on alcohol at his wedding to Valerie Bertinelli, the rocker didn't heed his warnings. When it was time to start the reception, Monk found Eddie in front of the toilet, with his bride Valerie holding his hair back, still in her white wedding dress. They almost called the reception off.

Just before the wedding, too, Eddie was reportedly served a paternity suit by a groupie, who claimed he had fathered her child. Valerie's dad found out and called Monk. "Noel, what the hell are we going to do? These two kids are supposed to be getting married in a few months," he said (via Country Living). Luckily, the manager had Eddie take a paternity test and it came back negative — so the nuptials were still on track.

Although they had a rocky relationship, the two obviously cared deeply for each other and their son, Wolfgang Van Halen.