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Danica McKellar: 'Divorce really is like a death in the family'

Former child star Danica Mckellar has compared the pain of her divorce to "an actual death in the family", insisting it's "one of the saddest events" she has ever experienced.

The actress and author, who played Winnie Cooper on beloved TV series The Wonder Years, moved to end her three-year marriage to composer Mike Verta this week (begs04Jun12), citing "irreconcilable differences" for the split.

She has now reached out to fans to thank them for their outpouring of support, and although McKellar admits she's hurting from the break-up, she's glad they've managed to keep the split civil for the sake of their one-year-old son.

In a post on her blog, she writes, "I am just overwhelmed by the love and support in the messages I've been receiving from all of you via Twitter and Facebook during this incredibly tough time. The end of a marriage has got to be one of the saddest events one can experience.

"I've heard that the pain (of divorce) is second only to an actual death in the family, and that sounds about right, has been nothing but amicable, and that this process seems like it will be as smooth as can be hoped for.

"We are both totally in love with our little boy and believe this is the best thing for him."