MINNEAPOLIS — Eleanor Mondale, the vivacious daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale who carved out her own reputation as an entertainment reporter, radio show host and gossip magnet, has died.

Diagnosed with brain cancer in 2005, Mondale, 51, died early Saturday at the Prior Lake, Minn., farm she shared with husband Chan Poling, said family spokeswoman Lynda Pedersen.

In a statement emailed to friends, the former vice president said he and his wife “must report that our wonderful daughter, after her long and gutsy battle against cancer, went up to heaven last night to be with her angel.” 

Mondale had been off the air at WCCO-AM in Minneapolis since March 19, 2009, when she announced that her  cancer had returned a second time. She had surgery to remove a tumor Aug. 12, 2009, at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Mondale, the second of Walter and Joan Mondale’s three children, stumped for her father in his failed 1984 campaign to unseat President Reagan . She also made calls in 2002 in her father’s last campaign, when he took the ballot slot of Sen. Paul Wellstone, who died in a plane crash days before the election.

Known on the party circuit when she was younger, Eleanor Mondale also attracted gossip. Her dalliance with Warren Zevon was detailed in “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead,” a posthumous 2007 biography published by the late rock musician’s ex-wife.

In 1998, CBS News reported that Mondale was one of four women Monica Lewinsky expressed resentment toward in taped conversations because of attention President Clinton paid to them. (In a statement, Mondale said her relationship with the president and his wife, Hillary, was “purely a friendship.”)

Briefly an aspiring actress, Mondale had bit parts in TV’s “Three’s Company” and “Dynasty.”

Getting her start in broadcasting as a DJ in Chicago, she went on to be an entertainment reporter at Minneapolis’ WCCO-TV  in 1989, but left after only eight months when Mpls.St. Paul magazine was about to publish an article called “Walter and Joan’s Wild Child.” The Star Tribune reported that Mondale denied she was forced out.

The article quoted her as saying, “I like to get wild. But it’s not murder, and I don’t do drugs.”

After stints at Minneapolis radio station WLOL-FM, on  E! Entertainment and ESPN and  on CBS’ “This Morning,” she returned to Minnesota in 2006 to co-host a weekday morning show on WCCO-AM with Susie Jones.

“I was terrified of her at first, she was so big, but you talked to her for a minute and you realized she was just as regular as you could expect,” Jones said. “She was uncanny, she was unpredictable. She sparkled.”

Mondale was married three times, first to former Chicago Bears tackle Keith Van Horne; then to fellow DJ Greg Thunder. In 2005, she married Poling, a composer and rock musician.