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Valerie Bertinelli pays loving tribute to ex-husband Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli
Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli at the 1983 premiere of “Brainstorm.”
(Ron Galella Collection / Getty)

Actress Valerie Bertinelli shared a touching tribute to her ex-husband, Eddie Van Halen, who died Tuesday at 65 after a long battle with throat cancer.

The “Hot in Cleveland” alum and the rock ‘n’ roll legend were married from 1981 to 2007 and shared a son, Wolfgang Van Halen, who confirmed Eddie Van Halen’s death Tuesday on Twitter, saluting him as “the best father I could ever ask for.”

“40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you,” Bertinelli posted Tuesday on social media, along with a sweet family photo of herself, Eddie Van Halen and a baby Wolfgang.

“You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang. Through all your challenging treatments for lung cancer, you kept your gorgeous spirit and that impish grin. 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.”

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Bertinelli’s Instagram tribute prompted an outpouring of support from several in the entertainment community, including her son, who commented, “Love ya, Mom.” Wolfgang Van Halen, who grew up to join Van Halen as a bassist, also honored his father Tuesday in an emotional statement.

“Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift,” he wrote. “My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”

Others who have saluted the guitar hero in the wake of his death include a “heartbroken and speechless” Sammy Hagar, lead vocalist of Van Halen, as well as fellow rockers Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Paul Stanley of KISS; Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne; Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx; Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea; singer-songwriter Joan Jett; musician Lenny Kravitz; and singer-songwriter Billy Idol.

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Sammy Hagar, Gene Simmons, Lenny Kravitz and Kenny Chesney are among the musicians paying tribute to Eddie Van Halen, who died Tuesday at age 65.

Eddie Van Halen’s widow, Janie Liszewski, posted her own tender tribute to her late husband Wednesday.

“My heart and soul have been shattered into a million pieces. I never knew it was possible to cry so many tears or feel such incredible sadness,” she wrote on Instagram, paired with a photo of the couple’s sand-covered feet on a beach. She married Van Halen in 2009.

“Our journey together has not always been an easy one but in the end and always we have a connection and love that will always be,” she added.

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