Walk of Fame Honors: Valerie Bertinelli
Valerie Bertinelli says she’s “ridiculously excited” about getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.“It still hasn’t hit me yet that I’m going to be part of these iconic stars that everyone know and loves,” says Bertinelli. If producer Todd Milliner were in charge, he would have granted one a long time ago. He remembers watching her on CBS’ “One Day at a Time” and knew he wanted her for TV Land’s “Hot in Cleveland.” “She has this ability to deliver a punch line that comes from the heart,” Milliner says. “It’s so effortless that you forget how talented she is in turning a phrase or a joke.” Co-star Wendie Malick first met Bertinelli on the “Hot in Cleveland” set. “She has a bawdy side that endeared her to me,” Malick says. “She’s like a firecracker, and every day she’s on the set there’s an energy spike.” That energy has served Bertinelli well during her long career. Her first break in 1974 on “Apple’s Way” caught the eye of Norman Lear, who was casting “One Day.” She earned the role of the youngest daughter of a single mom (Bonnie Franklin), and was in almost every episode during the comedy’s nine seasons. While most child actors go through an awkward period trying to transition to adult roles, Bertinelli says she never experienced that. “Mine happened on screen. I started when I was 15 and finished when I was 24,” Bertinelli says. “Then I had my son (in 1991) and stopped working for a while.” Work stoppage is in the eye of the beholder. She delivered 13 made-for-TV movies and two TV series, “Sydney” with Matthew Perry and “Cafe Americain,” in the years after “One Day” and before landing a series regular spot on “Touched by an Angel” from 1997-2003. She continued working on TV movies until snagging her current role in TV Land’s first original scripted series, “Hot in Cleveland,” created by Suzanne Martin and picked up for a fourth season with co-stars Betty White, Jane Leeves and Malick. “I’m such a freakin’ lucky girl. I’ve had pinnacles in my life, from working with Norman, Bonnie and Pat (Harrington Jr.) who gave me a solid base to now working with Suzanne Martin, Betty, Jane, Wendie and our writers,” Bertinelli says. “But the real pinnacles were having my son and having a sweet man, my husband, Tom (Vitale), in my life. When you are solid in your personal life, the rest is gravy.”
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