Bachelor Party star dead at 59
Julie E. "Tawny" Kitaen, who was possibly best known for appearing in several 1980s music videos for the 'hair metal' rock band Whitesnake, has died.
According to TMZ, local authorities said she died at her home in Newport Beach on Friday morning, but a cause of death has not been released. She was 59.
Born in San Diego, California, Kitaen's start in the entertainment business came in 1983 when she appeared on the cover of albums by heavy metal band RATT.
Kitaen later became a so-called "video vixen", appearing most notably in Whitesnake's 1987 hit "Here I Go Again" where she did choreographed gymnastics on vintage cars.
Kitaen, who was married to lead singer David Coverdale, from 1989 to 1991, also appeared in
"Still of the Night," "Is This Love" and "The Deeper the Love."
She broke into acting in movies and was moderately successful, most memorably playing Tom Hanks' girlfriend in the 1984 comedy Bachelor Party.
She had a guest role in a Seinfeld episode, "The Nose Job", but most recently appeared in several reality shows, including Botched and a season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, in which she revealed she had struggled with substance abuse.
In 2006 she was charged for cocaine possession and driving under the influence in 2009.
Kitaen was married to baseball player Chuck Finley from 1997 to 2002 and they had two daughters together.
Finley and Kitaen separated following Finley's claims that his wife repeatedly kicked him during a domestic dispute.
Kitaen is survived by daughters Wynter, 28, and Raine, 22.
Coverdale tweeted in remembrance of his former wife:
Just woke up to some very sad, unexpected news…Waiting on confirmation…but, if it is true, my sincere condolences to her children, her family, friends & fans…🙏🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/ioerp3ZRPa— David Coverdale (@davidcoverdale) May 8, 2021
While many fans posted on social media that they were in shock and wondered if the story was a rumour, Kitaen's daughters took to Instagram on Saturday afternoon local time to confirm the news was sadly true:
Others started to post tributes including Richard Marx, Jennifer Tilley and others:
So sad to hear of #TawnyKitaen ‘s passing. She was always very sweet to me. This is a photo of us meeting many years ago when she and David came to my show. My love and sympathies to her family and friends. pic.twitter.com/l8SvMJI5pe— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) May 8, 2021
Very sad news about #TawnyKitaen. I remember Sam wrote “Shaping Up” for Tom Hanks. Then “Bachelor Party” came out, and Sam said “Tom doesn’t want to do it anymore because now he thinks he can be some kind of movie star.” So we went to see it. I thought Tawny was adorable. RIP 😢 pic.twitter.com/voNiVnXaYX— Jennifer Tilly (@JenniferTilly) May 8, 2021
Originally published as Bachelor Party star dead at 59