The Orange County, California coroner’s office confirmed Kitaen died in Newport Beach Friday morning.
Tawny Kitaen, a name synonymous with 1980s rock bands and MTV died Friday at her Newport Beach, California home the Orange County coroners office has confirmed.
Kitaen is listed on the coroner’s office releases as “Tawny Kitaen Finley,” and she was 59-years-old. Kitaen died at 8 a.m. on May 7 the coroner’s office reported, but no official cause of death has been released. A staff member at the coroner’s office said Saturday that the official cause of death could be reveled as early as next week, after an autopsy is performed.
Julie E. “Tawny” Kitaen was born in San Diego, California and first rose to fame after being featured on back-to-back album covers for the heavy metal band RATT in 1983.
She later appeared in one of the band’s music videos, but became a household name when she appeared in the video for the band Whitesnake’s 1987 hit “Here I Go Again,” Variety reported. It was her ability to to flip and dance over cars in the video which was a hit, in and of itself, for fans.
She appeared in other Whitesnake videos as well including “Is This Love,” “The Deeper the Love” and “Still of the Night.” Kitaen was married to Whitesnake’s lead singer David Coverdale for a short time between 1987 and 1991.
Over the years Kitaen landed a list of acting roles and appearances including an episode of Seinfeld called “The One With The Nose Job” and roles like her character as Tom Hank’s girlfriend in the 1984 comedy “Bachelor Party.”
She also made her way into multiple reality shows as that genre was exploding onto the entertainment world in shows like “The Surreal Life,” and VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2008, further cementing her name and face into U.S. pop culture archives.