Now known more for her dramatic weight loss (she melted away more than 50 lbs. doing the Jenny Craig diet) and bubbly fitness regime than being cutie pie Barbara Cooper from One Day at a Time or Mrs. Van Halen, Valerie Bertinelli is and always has been the sparkly Girl Next Door. Born April 23, 1960 in Wilmington, Del., Bertinelli's family migrated to California for her GM exec father's career. She attended high school in L.A. and got her lucky break at the tender age of 15 on One Day at a Time. She portrayed younger sister Barbara until the series (plagued by co-star MacKenzie Phillips' rampant drug use) was canceled in 1984, just shy of its 10-year anniversary.During its run, Bertinelli took on another famous part as the wife of rocker Eddie Van Halen. The couple had a son together in 1991, but in 2005, Bertinelli filed for divorce. She wrote about it in her 2008 autobiography Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time. In March 2009, just before her 49th birthday, Bertinelli showed the world how proud she is of her transformed self by posing in a bikini on the cover of People. A year later, at 50, Bertinelli is having the time of her life: She's the Jenny Craig spokesperson, completed the 2010 Boston Marathon and portrays divorcee/best-selling author Melanie on Hot in Cleveland. She also maintains a website, ValerieBertinelli.com, which features a personal blog, polls and lifestyle tips.
Melanie is a 40something, recently divorced mother of two college-aged children, Samantha and Will. She met her former husband Anders in college, and dropped out when she became pregnant with Will. Her ex shocks her by becoming engaged to Kim, a girl half her age (her fake age, that is). Melanie recently wrote a book called 200 Things Every Woman Should Do before She Dies
. She's an eternal optimist and fiercely loyal to her friends, soap actress Victoria and eyebrow stylist Joy, and together they navigate Cleveland and its men.