Tawny Kitaen, the actress and model known for her appearances in a series of Whitesnake videos and for her co-starring role in the 1984 comedy Bachelor Party, died Friday morning at home in Newport Beach, California. She was 59.
The Orange County, California, coroner’s office confirmed the news of Kitaen’s passing, although her cause of death hasn’t been revealed.
Kitaen appeared on the front cover of Ratt‘s 1983 self-titled EP and 1984 full-length debut album Out of the Cellar while she was dating Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby. She also was featured in the music video for the band’s hit “Back for More.”
Also in 1984, Kitaen co-starred in the hit comedy film Bachelor Party as Tom Hanks‘ bride-to-be.
Tawny is perhaps best-known for her appearance in the music video for Whitesnake’s 1987 smash “Here I Go Again,” which featured her displaying seductive and acrobatic dance moves atop a pair of luxury cars. Kitaen also appeared in subsequent Whitesnake videos for the songs “Still of the Night,” “Is This Love” and “The Deeper the Love.”
Tawny was married to Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale from 1989 to 1991.
As an actress, Kitaen appeared in a variety of movies and television shows. She also was featured in a few reality-TV series, among them The Surreal Life, Botched and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
Kitaen battled substance abuse for a number of years, as was revealed on Celebrity Rehab. In 2006, she was arrested for cocaine possession and in 2009 she was charged for DUI.
She was married to pro baseball player Chuck Finley from 1997 to 2002; and the couple had two daughters together.
“We are heartbroken and saddened to announce the death of our mom,” her daughters Wynter and Raine wrote in a statement on Kitaen’s social media pages. “We just want to say thank you for all of you, her fans and her friends, for always showing her such support and love. You gave her life everyday. We miss her and love her and we know her legacy will live on forever.”
In reaction to Kitaen’s death, Coverdale posted a note on his Twitter feed that reads, “Just woke up to some very sad, unexpected news…my sincere condolences to her children, her family, friends & fans…”
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