'80s Star Tawny Kitaen Dead at 59

Actress played opposite Tom Hanks in 'Bachelor Party,' appeared in Whitesnake videos
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2021 9:45 AM CDT

She started out in the world of TV game shows before becoming one of the most well-known faces of the '80s, appearing in Whitesnake music videos and the 1984 film Bachelor Party. Now, a goodbye to Julie "Tawny" Kitaen, who died Friday at the age of 59 in Newport Beach, Calif., reports TMZ. The Orange County Coroner's Office has not yet said the cause of death, per Variety. Kitaen, a native of San Diego, started her career on the '70s game show revival To Tell the Truth, then saw her big-screen breakthrough opposite Tom Hanks in Bachelor Party. Kitaen also became an '80s "music video vixen," per Page Six, appearing in the Whitesnake videos for "Here I Go Again" and "Is This Love," among others.

She ended up marrying Whitesnake's lead singer, David Coverdale, in 1989, though they divorced two years later. She married MLB pitcher Chuck Finley in 1997, and they, too, divorced, in 2002 after a five-year marriage, following Finley's accusations against Kitaen of domestic violence. She was also known to struggle with substance abuse and had a few run-ins with the law, including a drug possession charge in 2006 and one for DUI in 2009. "Just woke up to some very sad, unexpected news," Coverdale tweeted Saturday morning. "If it is true, my sincere condolences to her children, her family, friends & fans." Kitaen is survived by her two daughters with Finley, 28-year-old Wynter and 22-year-old Raine. (Read more Tawny Kitaen stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.