Valerie Bertinelli gets emotional talking about son on her 60th birthday

As she celebrates six decades, the beloved star looks back on her best role ever — being a mom.


Happy birthday, Valerie Bertinelli!

The actress, cook, author and wellness advocate turned 60 Thursday, and she visited TODAY (via video call) to share the joyful occasion with us and to open up about the best role she’s taken on in all those years — being a mom.

The star said that she woke up Thursday morning feeling “gratitude.” Not only is she grateful for the life she's been able to build but also for her family, including her 29-year-old son, Wolfgang Van Halen.

When asked just what the young man she calls “Wolfie” has meant in her life, Bertinelli immediately teared up and said, “That I know how to do something right.”

That’s a feeling she’s had since she gave birth to him in 1991.

“The moment I became his mother, I felt right in the world,” she insisted. “I felt whole. He’s just a very special human being, and I love him dearly.”

Noting how emotional she became as she spoke of him, Bertinelli smiled and added, “I’m his mom. What am I going to say, right?”

Since she's in quarantine at home, Bertinelli isn’t spending her big day with her son, but she was able to see him recently — from a distance.

“Wolfie did come over one day with his mask and his gloves on, and he wouldn’t come in the house,” she recalled. “He just stood outside. It’s heartbreaking, but sheltering in place is what’s going to get us through this.”

And getting through this coronavirus pandemic — and seeing that others do, too — is a priority for Bertinelli. That’s why she decided to celebrate her birthday by focusing on giving rather than receiving.

In honor of her 60th, the star has donated $60,000 to be divided between the National Domestic Workers Alliance, No Kid Hungry, Blessings in a Backpack and The Giving Back Fund to help those in need during the crisis.

That helps bring her closer to making her ultimate birthday wish come true: “Just to find that pure joy, that pure happiness that oozes out from all of us and to connect that with other people, to reach out and be of service to people, in any way possible.”