What You Don't Know About Eddie Van Halen's Wife, Janie Liszewski

Eddie Van Halen, who The Los Angeles Times aptly memorialized as "the all-American guitar hero," passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, of throat cancer. TMZ reports that when the rock and roll legend passed over, his wife of 11 years, Janie Liszewski, was by his side.

Van Halen, whose father was an alcoholic, started smoking at just 12 years of age. His first marriage, to actress, Valerie Bertinelli, unraveled in 2001. It broke partly under the weight of Van Halen's drug and alcohol addiction. After their divorce, Bertinelli remembered their marriage in a memoir. The priest they'd selected for their wedding asked them to fill out forms so he could better prepare their ceremony." As we filled out the forms at home, we each held a little vial of coke," she reflected. "It doesn't really bode well for the marriage, I don't think.

Van Halen's second marriage started off on radically different footing. Around the time that Van Halen proposed to Janie in 2008 (in Hawaii, where else?), Van Halen gave up drugs and alcohol for good. "They are devoted to each other and to experiencing life in a whole new, positive and passionate way," a source told People at the time. When they tied the knot in 2009, People reported that (in addition to mini hamburgers, corn dogs, ring pops, and custom printed M&M's) the happy couple treated guests to a nonalcoholic lemonade bar. They toasted each other, and Van Halen's sobriety, to French sparkling apple cider and sparkling pear juice.

Janie Liszewski's grief

Janie Liszewski isn't a stranger to social media, but she was notoriously private about her life with her husband. "Breaking News," she admonished fans in one post, "@eddievanhalen is my husband & our relationship and life together is PRIVATE." But after her husband's death in October, she opened up in a rare Instagram post. "My heart and soul have been shattered into a million pieces," she wrote. "I never knew it was possible to cry so many tears or feel such incredible sadness ...  Saying goodbye is the hardest thing I have ever had to do so instead I say so long, I will see you again soon in a place with no pain or sorrow." 

Her husband was not the first or the last loved one that Liszewski lost in 2020. In June, her brother Tom died (via Instagram). Then, in November, so did her mother (via Instagram). After her mother's death, Liszewski tweeted a heartbreaking tribute to social media, writing, "my mom was the most amazing person & she affected every single person she met in such a positive & loving way. She was my rock & support thru the toughest of times." 

Janie Liszewski worked as Van Halen's publicist

In spite of her social media presence, we know relatively little about Janie Liszewski, personally. Who is she? Her online footprint is full of DJ duties, morning hikes, and her Pomeranian puppy. She clearly loves Pomeranians. Per People, when she wed Van Halen in 2009, her 15-year-old Pomeranian, Kano, walked her down the aisle. You may have seen Kody Van Halen, a newer addition to her family, on the cover of Esquire with George Clooney (via Van Halen News Desk). 

We also know that Janie  Liszewski's first concert was not a Van Halen concert. She went to listen to Diana Ross (via Instagram). Finally, Liszewski cooks and posts pictures of Boston cream cupcakes that make us want to be her best friend. Beyond that, it's hard to know exactly who Liszewski is. There's a reason for her silence. One look at Liszewski's resume and it's clear that the 50-year-old is a veritable Hollywood jack-of-all-trades who's no stranger to the dangers of prying paparazzi. Early in her and Van Halen's relationship, Liszewski shifted career tracks. In 2007, she stopped working PR for the adult film industry. Instead, she began exclusively representing her future husband's band (via Van Halen News Desk). "Obviously this is a dream come true in many capacities," Liszewski purportedly said at the time.

Dancing Queen Lita Lamae: Janie Liszewski's alter go

Janie Liszewski wasn't destined to stay in the world of publicity. According to her Instagram alter-ego, Dancing Queen Lita Lamae, in 2019, Liszewski began working as a pro wrestling manager. She works for her ballroom dancing partner (yes, she's a competitive ballroom dancer, too), who goes by the Instagram handle "King of the Floor" Louie 54. She describes her current job as "an adventure unlike any other" (via Instagram). 

One of her and her partner's signature moves (no surprises there) is taken directly from pro-wrestling. But Liszewski's favorite dance shows off her softer side. In September, Liszewski told the JV Sports Show, "I like waltz, there's something really zen-like to me, I never envisioned ... that I would be in a big ball gown kind of floating across the floor." Would she ever consider going on a show like "Dancing With The Stars?," the JV Sports Show asked her. "I don't know if I could handle that kind of demand, I like to learn at my own pace," Liszewski replied. 

Janie Liszewski made a living as a Hollywood stuntwoman

A self-described "tomboy," before exploring the world of publicity, pro-wrestling, and ballroom dancing, Janie Liszewski was a stuntwoman. According to IMDb, between 2001 and 2005, Liszewski racked in 16 film credits, appearing in high-profile box office hits like "The Wedding Planner," "Looney Tunes: Back in Action," "Along Came Polly," and "Spider-Man 2." Clearly not someone to be confined to one profession, Liszewski's also tried her hands at acting. You can catch achieving minor roles in "CSI Miami" (as Susan McCreary), "Profiler" (as she plays Vanjour), and "From Dusk Till Dawn" (where she plays a bar dancer).  

Did you know Janie Liszewski used to train at the same gym as Hulk Hogan? At least Liszewski claims she did on Youtube. In any case, Janie Liszewski's athleticism and background in stunts clearly prepared her for her current work in ballroom dancing. The athlete met her current partner, Louie, at a charity event in 2017 that he was hired to dance at (via Youtube). Later, at a friend's birthday party that Louie was also working, Liszewski approached him about a potential partnership. They've worked closely together on both ballroom dancing and wrestling, since. Louie's favorite ballroom dance is the Rumba, btw. 

Janie Liszewski's brushes with breast cancer

If Janie Liszewski doesn't gush about her private life on her social media platforms, she does use them to talk about cancer and cancer prevention. Liszewski's late husband isn't the only member of her family who learned to navigate cancer scares and treatments. Liszewski, herself, has spent years in and out of the doctor's office. In 2019, the ballroom dancer wrote on Instagram that doctors had been monitoring abnormal nodules in her thyroid for years. "I was finally cleared and told they have not grown/changed and are not cancerous. I am so relieved and grateful," she wrote. 

In 2021 Liszewski went through another scare, this time related to her breasts. It took her two tries to get through the biopsy. "I had a massive anxiety attack," she wrote after the first one, describing "a flood of emotions and a large amount of pain when the needle was inserted and I passed out." A week later, uplifted by the support of her online followers, Liszewski announced via The Gram that the lumps in her breasts were benign. 

The experiences are emotionally exhausting for her, but Liszewski believes in the importance of using her story to inspire others. "Ladies, and gentlemen too, please stay on top of your health stuff, it's really important," she wrote next to a picture of herself in the hospital preparing for a test. "Don't put off follow up monitoring, tests or appts because the sooner you know the sooner you can develop a plan if needed."